10th August, 2012
In what some in Uzbekistan think may be a change in the authorities' repression policy, there has been an apparent increase in confiscations of privately-owned religious books from homes during raids.
Forum 18 News Service is reporting that associated with this have been violations of due legal process, including denials of legal representation, misrepresentation of whether a defendant has pleaded guilty, verdicts not being provided within the time laid down in law, and so-called “expert analyses” that have confused Protestant books with Jehovah's Witness books.
As police confiscated one Bible in Uzbek, one Bible in Russian, and a book by John Bunyan from one Protestant they said: “Don't you know that it is prohibited to keep such books at home?”.
The news service added that police also stated that the books would be sent for “expert analysis” by the Religious Affairs Committee, and that their owner will be fined.
- DAN WOODING, Assist News Service