23 July 2020
In three known cases so far in Tashkent in 2020, Muslims who discussed their faith with others are being prosecuted for alleged terrorism-related offences. In all three cases, the men were tortured and agent provocateurs used to bring false charges. Separately, a surgeon in Karakalpakstan who asked about coronavirus cases and then had religious texts confiscated has been put under house arrest.
9 June 2020
Members of religious communities expressed their frustration to Forum 18 about the secrecy of the new Religion Law's drafting process, and the regime's apparent lack of willingness to end restrictions violating human rights obligations. Officials' statements about a draft text do not match the concrete changes people in Uzbekistan have said they would like to see in a new Law.
3 June 2020
A police agent provocateur tried to get four young men interested in Islam to support terrorism. After this failed, Tashkent City Criminal Court jailed three of the men for between five and six years. Despite telling the Court that their "confessions" were extorted by torture "this was totally ignored". Another trial of eight men is underway on similar charges at the same Court.
17 April 2020
The authorities are using a new March Criminal Code Article 244-5 ("Dissemination of knowingly false information about an infectious disease") against a surgeon in Karakalpakstan because he had Muslim religious texts on his computer. Many Islamic texts face a new ban, raids for religious literature continue, and import bans on non-Muslim texts continue.
11 December 2019
Officials gave permission to exist to some religious communities in late 2019, but many others complain of official obstacles. Some cannot get Land Registry or Mahalla approval, others face demands for bribes. Seven Jehovah's Witness communities were rejected. Catholics await registration for a sixth parish. Police pressured Shia Muslims in Bukhara to halt a petition to reopen a closed Shia mosque.
8 November 2019
Uzbekistan imposes severe restrictions on haj pilgrims, including using exit ban lists to bar devout Muslims, arbitrarily restricting who can go on the pilgrimage. Controls are complex and multilayered, involving the SSS secret police, the Muftiate, and the government's Religious Affairs Committee. The system's complexity facilitates corruption.
22 October 2019
Police raided a Baptist church's Sunday meetings for worship in Urgench in September and administration and police officials threatened Pastor Stanislav Kim with eviction from his home. Although the local administration then orchestrated a hostile mob, the congregation has in October met without official interference.
14 October 2019
The Prosecutor asked Tashkent City Court to give 48-year-old Tulkun Astanov a five-year suspended sentence, with a verdict expected on or after 18 October. The Muslim human rights defender is being punished for visiting the state-controlled Muftiate to discuss hijab bans and other restrictions on freedom of religion and belief.
21 May 2019
Officials tortured Muslim prisoner of conscience Khayrullo Tursunov over six hours in an attempt to extract false testimony and ridiculed him for thinking of applying for parole. A Shia Muslim jailed for having Shia texts has been given parole, but officials know of no legal Shia texts.
29 April 2019
Two women are awaiting Supreme Court hearings in their challenges to the ban on female students wearing hijab in Tashkent's International Islamic Academy and its secondary school. The Academy expelled Luiza Muminjanova in 2018, while Abdukakharova was allowed back after appealing. The state created the state-run Academy in 2018 from pre-existing state-run Muftiate and state institutions.
25 April 2019
Muslim activist Tulkun Astanov still faces criminal charges launched by the SSS secret police. He completed a 15-day jail term on 23 April, and was freed the following day. He was jailed the same day Deputy Chief Mufti Mansur accused him of being a "hooligan" and disrespectful to Muftiate "spiritual leadership".
11 February 2019
Imam Fazliddin Parpiyev fled Uzbekistan "for my safety" after appealing to President Mirziyoyev "as Muslims .. cannot have full freedom of religion and belief". Muslims are placed on watch lists for memorising the Koran for a state-run competition, and imams are rotated to stop them influencing congregations.