Posted by: becketfund | April 9, 2008

Uzbekistan: Harassment of Religious Communities Continues

SAMARKAND – Mistreatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims continues in Uzbekistan, where the government recently brought criminal charges against a Jehovah’s Witness for “illegal religious activity” and dismissed two imams, Forum 18 reported on April 9.  Jehovah’s Witness Olim Turaev has been accused of “illegally organizing a religious community” and “illegally teaching [his] faith”, as the Samarkand Jehovah’s Witness community to which he belongs lacks legal status. Meanwhile, in eastern Uzbekistan, two imams from Namangan were fired for “teaching Islam to teenagers.” The local head of the state-backed Muftiate was also dismissed. Other imams in the area were given warnings.

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