Background Briefing

Religious persecution

Assertion: “Assertions to the effect that there is a continuing pattern of discrimination, harassment and prosecution in Uzbekistan with regard to the exercise of freedom of thought and religion are unfounded.”

Uzbek authorities have continued their unrelenting, multi-year campaign of unlawful arrest, torture, and imprisonment of Muslims who practice their faith outside state controls or who belong to unregistered religious organizations, branding peaceful religious believers as “religious extremists.” Dozens have been arrested or convicted in 2006 on charges related to religious “extremism.” Human Rights Watch has documented abuses in many of these cases.