Tuesday, March 21, 2006

UZBEKISTAN: Persecution Continues

"By Igor Rotar,
Forum 18 News Service

Persecution of Protestants continues throughout Uzbekistan, Forum 18 News Service has found. Amongst recent incidents indicated to Forum 18 are the interrogation of a group of 40 Protestants for 18 days, the unlawful imposition of a fine for 'security' on one woman, Protestants in a cafe being ordered by police to state that they were in an unauthorised religious meeting, and nine Pentecostals at a social gathering having permitted religious literature - including copies of the New Testament - confiscated. Fines were also imposed. Iskander Najafov, a Christian lawyer, commented that 'I believe it is quite absurd to use the phrase 'unlawful religious activity' of the Syr-Darya Protestants,' he told Forum 18. 'No-one can prevent people from visiting each other and talking about religious issues!' The head of the Criminal and Administrative Court for Syr-Darya, Akbar Nazimov, was unable to explain to Forum 18 why permitted religious literature was confiscated."

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