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Uzbekistan: International Religious Freedom Report for 2011

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

The constitution and laws provide for religious freedom; however, other laws and policies restrict religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforced these restrictions. The government did not demonstrate a trend toward improvement in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom. The law restricts the religious freedom of unregistered groups and prohibits many activities, such as proselytizing; many members of minority religious groups faced heavy fines and short jail terms for violations of these laws. The government continued to deal harshly with Muslims who discussed religious issues outside of sanctioned mosques. However, the government did not interfere with worshippers at sanctioned mosques and permitted the regular operation of religious groups traditionally practicing in the country, including the Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, and Russian Orthodox communities.

There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. However, society generally was tolerant of religious groups, and religious groups were generally tolerant of each other.

U.S. government representatives engaged with the government on religious freedom as part of a broader dialogue on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Embassy officials met with representatives of religious communities, civil society, and government bodies, as well as relatives of prisoners, to discuss freedom of conscience and belief. The U.S. ambassador hosted an iftar dinner (an evening meal during Ramadan) for representatives of a number of religions. The secretary of state redesignated Uzbekistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act on August 18, for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom. 

To read the full report

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