Uzbek Christians and Muslims are persecuted, arrested and fined
Mekhrinisso Hamdamova was charged with organising an “unauthorised” religious meeting. Thirty more women were arrested and placed in isolation in order to force them to testify against her. In October, the authorities fined 28 Christians for “illegal possession” of religious material.
11/21/2009 Uzbekistan (AsiaNews/Forum18) – Uzbek authorities continue their campaign of repression. Scores of Muslims and Christians have been arrested, subjected to raids or fined amounts up to 50 times the average monthly salary, on charges of “overthrowing the established order” and inciting “religious hatred”.
On 5 November, 12 officials from the National Security Service (NSS) secret police arrested Mekhrinisso Hamdamova, a Muslim women from the town of Karshi , in southeast Uzbekistan .
Police broke into her home at 6 am, searched the premises, and seized two tapes and a book she received in gift from a local Muslim organisation.
The campaign of repression against religious freedom has also affected Christians. Police raided their meetings, seized religious material (Christian books and tapes) and imposed fines.
On 23 October, 11 Protestants were fined for dining together at a friend’s house and charged with breaking laws on religion by teaching religion without religious training or permission. Fines ranged from 10 to 50 times the average monthly wages.
Previously, on 5 October, 17 other Protestants were fined for “illegal possession” of religious literature.