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UZBEKISTAN: Officials “acted like bandits”
ICC Note:
A 76 year old Christian woman had her home illegally searched when officials climbed through her window and without showing a search warrant “turned everything in the home upside down.”  They confiscated her personal Bible along with Christian books and DVD’s. She has long been a target of officials as they have tried numerous times to force her to sign documents confessing that her daughter runs an illegal religious organization out of her home. In a hearing she was charged a fine 10 times the monthly wage, and one official told her, “this is a Muslim country and all of your Christian books including the Bible are outlawed”.
By Mushfig Bayram
5/30/2013 Uzbekistan (Forum18)- On 14 March, in Guliston in Syrdarya Region near the capital Tashkent, police raided Ziyadtinova’s private home at Zakirov Street 78. Local Protestants, who did not wish to be named for fear of state reprisals, told Forum 18 on 15 May that four officials took part: Inspectors Saida Abdukhamidova and Malalkhat Tozhiyeva, who normally focus on children, and Tohir Ibrohimov and Sanzhar Mirzayev from an unknown state agency.
The raid was officially described as “Anti-terror-Tozalash” (“Anti-terror-Cleaning”). Raids described in this way have taken palce before, and – like other raids – have involved the National Security Service (NSS) secret police…
The raid took place at 11 am in the morning. As Ziyatdinova, who walks with great difficulty as she has Parkinson’s Disease, did not immediately open the door of her flat, officials “banged on the doors and shouted so loudly that all the neighbours were disturbed and gathered to watch” Protestants stated. One of the officials then broke into the flat by climbing through a second floor window.
The four officials then took Ziyatdinova off her bed, and “without producing a search warrant turned everything in the home upside down”. They then gave her “various papers to sign”. The officials then left, having confiscated Ziyatdinova’s personal Bible, other Christian books and DVD discs…
Officials participating in one hearing reportedly told Ziyatdinova that “this is a Muslim country and all of your Christian books including the Bible are outlawed”. When Ziyatdinova told the Court that all her books were purchased from the officially registered Bible Society of Uzbekistan, the officials responded, “There’s no such Bible Society.”…
Judge Dusnazarov, when told by Forum 18 that Ziyatdinova suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and that she cannot afford the fine, replied: “If she is unhappy she can file a complaint”. Asked why he fined Ziyatdinova, the Judge claimed, “I am very busy at the moment, call me in 10 minutes.” Called back several times on 22 May Dusnazarov’s telephone was not answered.

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