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UZBEKISTAN: 74-year-old woman among latest police raid victims
ICC Note:
Uzbekistan is cracking down on religious groups it considers illegal, which unfortunately includes Protestant Christians. In the most recent incident police raided the home of a 74-year-old Protestant woman and confiscated all of her Christian literature. Despite being disabled, she could face prosecution and steep fines for owning the literature, which included Bibles and Christian DVDs.
By Mushfig Bayram
09/24/2012 Uzbekistan (Forum 18)- …
As raids, threats, beatings, literature seizures and fines for religious activity continue across Uzbekistan, one of the latest victims is a 74-year-old disabled Protestant from Tashkent Region, Forum 18 News Service notes. Police raided her home and seized Christian literature and she may face prosecution, while her neighbour was beaten. In other cases, fines have been as high as 40 times the minimum monthly wage. Many court verdicts seen by Forum 18 order that confiscated religious literature be destroyed. In Khorezm Region, a Judge ordered a Bible and New Testament destroyed after an “expert analysis” by an official of the local Muslim Board, even though the government’s Religious Affairs Committee is the only body authorised to conduct such analyses.

Almalyk raid and beating
On 4 September, police in Almalyk in Tashkent Region raided the home of Nina Chashina, a 74-year-old Protestant who is disabled. Seven officials, three of whom were in police uniforms, broke into her flat in Almalyk, another Protestant, who knows her and who wished to remain unnamed for fear of state reprisals, told Forum 18 on 11 September. Officials confiscated 25 Christian books, including seven Bibles and three New Testaments in Russian, three Bible commentary books, 100 brochures, 25 DVD disks as well as 20 audio-cassette tapes.
The Protestant told Forum 18 that the same officials then broke into the private flat of one of her neighbours in the same block, Gulya (shortened version of the name – the full name was not given). “Officials handcuffed her and then dragged her into the police car while several officials hit her.” The Protestant added that Gulya is registered at a local psycho-neurological clinic, and is registered as a disabled person.
Police then brought both Chashina and Gulya to Almalyk City Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, where Gulya had “an epileptic attack, and fell unconscious”. After medical help, doctors wanted to take her to the local clinic “but the police refused”. Police officers “using Gulya’s helpless condition forced her to write a dictated statement that Chashina is engaged in distributing DVDs of Christian films among Muslims”. The police then released the two.

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