Uzbekistan denies ‘Human Rights Watch’ report on abuse of believers` rights in the country

Photo: Uzbekistan denies ‘Human Rights Watch’ report on abuse of believers` rights in the country / Society

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Feb.19

By Demir Azizov- Trend:

The data of the human rights organisation 'Human Rights Watch' presented in the 'World Report 2014: Uzbekistan' article does not reflect reality, the press service of the Religious Affairs Committee of Uzbekstan reported.

'Information on the situation of human rights, including the rights of believers in Uzbekistan as before, is given on the basis of political considerations of our detractors', the statements says.

The committee considers that the authors of the material are merely unfamiliar with the legal regulations of Uzbekistan, or have some personal purpose and intention.
The report states that the Law of Uzbekistan 'On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organisations' today is recognised as one of the most easily executable regulations in the world.

In accordance with the state legislation, the execution of the right of religion confession or other beliefs may be subject only to such limitations that are necessary to ensure national security and public order, life, health, morals, rights and freedoms of other citizens.
At present, more than 2200 religious organisations from 16 different religious trends operate in Uzbekistan, according to the committee data.

'Together with this, all of them including large organisations, the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as small organisations such as the church of Jehovah's Witnesses , Voice of God church, Buddhist Temple and the Society for Krishna Consciousness, have equal rights and are equal before the law', the report says.

The report states that disputes or misunderstandings arise in most cases due to ignorance of the law or their blatant disregard. Furthermore, similar incidents are usually exaggerated by various kinds of 'fighters of religious freedom'.

Some 138 types of religious literature were issued and 3400 imported for Uzbek Muslims in 2013, Tashkent Eparchy imported 700 types of religious materials amounting to 60,000. The Bible Society of Uzbekistan presented four types of religious literature published in the country and imported more than 5000 copies of the Bible last year.

The report draws attention to the fact any individual and legal entity can manufacture, import, and distribute religious literature in the country.

The Religious Affairs Committee also notes that all the conditions for pilgrimage have been established for believers in the country. This means more than 11,000 Muslims in Uzbekistan visit Saudi Arabia annually. The Russian Orthodox Church organised several pilgrim trips to Israel, Russia and Greece last year.

Furthermore, many mosques, churches and pilgrimage sites received donations for believers by the Uzbek government in recent years.

'The Government is pursuing a balanced policy in the field of religion, on the basis of the principle of human rights observation. The best option is to understand and accept this statement. Just come to Uzbekistan and see with your own eyes and be convinced of this fact', the statement says.

Translated by S.I.
Edited by S.M.

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