Five Baptists in Uzbekistan Fined on Non-Specific Charges

Photo Credit: Gilad Rom

(World Watch Monitor) Five members of a Baptist church in the southern Uzbek city of Karshi were detained and fined for meeting without state permission, without hearing the exact charges, reports Forum 18.

Police also raided the homes of two Baptists, Khamid and Ziyatullo Rakhmonov (not related), on May 23, and took them to the police station for questioning.

The five fined Baptists, Nabijon Bolikulov, Viktor Tashpulatov, Mikhail Balykbayev, Munira Gaziyeva and Svetlana Andreychenko, were initially summoned for questioning, which lasted seven and a half hours. Following the court hearing the next day, 24 May, Bolikulov was kept in jail for five days because he protested their arrest, saying they had not broken any law.

Judge Azamat Khushvakhtov said the five were being fined for “violating [the country’s] Religion Law”, but did not specify what the specific charges against them were.

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