March 30, 2004

Creating Enemies of the State

Religious Persecution in Uzbekistan

I. INTRODUCTION..
Summary
Methodology
Recommendations
II. BACKGROUND..
Brief Chronological Overview..
Brief Islamic Revival and Government Backlash
Restored State Control of Religion, 1992-1995
Targeting Imams, 1995-1997
The Arrests Widen, 1997-2001
Bombings, Mass Arrests, and Trials
Emergence of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,1999-2001
Institutions of Control
The Propaganda Campaign
Local Government Enforcers (Mahalla Committees)
Neighborhood Guardians
The Role of Official Islam..
The Committee on Religious Affairs
Notes on Wahhabism, "Wahhabis," and Hizb ut-Tahrir
Wahhabism and "Wahhabis"
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir in Uzbekistan
Peaceful or Violent?
Hizb ut-Tahrir's Religion and Politics
Islam as a Complete and Comprehensive System..
Opposition to Secularism and Democracy
Anti-Americanism..
Anti-Semitism..
The Legal Setting
Freedom of Religion in International Law..
The Domestic Legal Context
III. TARGETS OF THE CAMPAIGN..
Imams, Their Followers, and "Wahhabis"
Imams
Followers102
Fourteen Accused "Wahhabis:" Fergana, June 2002110
Eight Accused "Wahhabis:" Tashkent, September 2001110
Thirteen Accused "Wahhabis:" Tashkent, December 2000-April 2001111
Seventeen Accused "Wahhabis:" Tashkent, June-August 2000113
Fifteen Accused "Wahhabis:" Tashkent, June-November 2000118
Hizb ut-Tahrir120
Twelve Members: Tashkent, May 1999122
Thirteen Members: Tashkent, July 1999128
Twenty-Six Members: Andijan, April-August 1999130
Musharraf Usmanova134
Fifteen Members: Tashkent, May-July 2003135
Punishing the Exchange of Ideas136
Punishing the Study of Religious Texts143
Family Members: Arrests, House Arrest, Harrassment148
Arrests148
Harassment of Relatives180
"Hate Rallies" and Public Denunciations185
Structure and Content of Public Denunciations186
Denunciations Organized by Mahallas and Other Local Officials187
The Role of Quasi-official Actors and Groups194
Denunciations in State-Run Mosques195
IV. TORTURE AND DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS202
Unsanctioned Arrests, Searches, and Planting of Evidence203
Arrests without Warrant206
Unsanctioned Searches207
Planting of Islamic Literature211
Incommunicado Detention214
Access to Legal Counsel and Preparation of a Defense219
Torture and Mistreatment in Pre-trial Detention225
Torture Resulting in Death229
Torture in Ministry of Internal Affairs Custody232
Torture in National Security Service Custody238
Threats of Torture244
Judicial and Prosecutorial Indifference to Torture246
Trials and Sentencing252
Denial of the Right to Examine Witnesses254
Other Procedural Violations at Trial257
Effect: Sidelining the Defense260
Sentencing261
Appeal262
Transparency: Corruption and Access to Trials262
Treatment in Prison265
Background266
Deaths Attributed to Ill-Treatment and Disease268
Contact with the Outside World and Withholding Information regarding Prisoners' Whereabouts269
Targeted Abuse of Religious Prisoners272
Jaslyk Prison282
V. IMPEDIMENTS TO REDRESS AND RELIEF294
Denial of Legal and Other Appeals294
Appeals to Government Entities295
Appeals to Official Clergy299
Appeals to Human Rights Organizations and the U.N.300
Amnesty304
Suppression of Public Protests309
VI. APPENDIX.. 318

 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report was researched and written by Acacia Shields, senior researcher on Central Asia. Additional research was conducted by Matilda Bogner, Tashkent-based researcher. It was edited by Cynthia Brown, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, Rachel Denber, acting executive director of the Europe and Central Asia division, and Widney Brown, deputy program director of Human Rights Watch. Veronika Szente Goldston, advocacy director for the Europe and Central Asia division, also reviewed sections of the report. Valuable technical support and assistance was given by past and current associates from the Europe and Central Asia division in New York and Tashkent, including Christina ter Braak, Rebecca Stich, Elizabeth Eagen, Ole Solvang, Kristina Alessi, and Emily Letts.

We extend our thanks to a number of rights defenders in Uzbekistan who were intimately involved in this project. We at Human Rights Watch recognize their incredible courage and commitment to the pursuit of human rights in Uzbekistan. Above all, our unending gratitude goes to the victims and their families, who trusted us with their stories. It was impossible to include in this report the details of all of the instances of abuse and hundreds of testimonies collected, but it is our hope that the cases featured in the report help to speak for the thousands of people who have suffered under this campaign.