Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Uzbekistan
26 April 2005
22. The Committee notes that the provisions of the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations Act require religious organizations and associations to be registered in order to be able to manifest their religion or belief. It is concerned about de facto limitations on the right to freedom of religion or belief, including the fact that proselytizing constitutes a criminal offence under the Criminal Code. The Committee is also concerned about the use of criminal law to penalize the apparently peaceful exercise of religious freedom and the fact that a large number of individuals have been charged, detained and sentenced and that, while a majority of them were subsequently released, several hundred remain in prison (Covenant, art. 18; see also paragraph 24 of the concluding observations on the initial report).
The State party should take steps to ensure full respect for the right of freedom of religion or belief and ensure that its legislation and practices conform fully with article 18 of the Covenant.