4 Muslims and a Baptist questioned, fined comment (0)
April 12, 2012
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan — In two separate cases in February, in different regions of Uzbekistan, courts have ordered religious literature confiscated from four Muslim women and a Protestant destroyed. All five also were fined — Muslims Nasiba Ashirmatova, Mahsuma Rahimkhujayeva, Iroda Mirzukurova and Mohinur Kholmatova being fined five times the minimum monthly wage and Odiljon Solijanov, a Baptist, being fined 20 times the minimum monthly wage.
The four Muslim women work together in a kindergarten and would sometimes during lunch breaks discuss religious subjects such as how to pray. This led to National Security Service secret police and ordinary police harassment, culminating in a raid, literature confiscations and a fine.
The police prevented the women from attending the original court hearing. An appeal was rejected and it is likely that all four women will be closely watched by the authorities. Solijanov was asked by the judge in his court hearing, “Is it true you were distributing literature harmful to our state?”
He answered, “The Word of God is not harmful to anyone, and we are called in the gospel to spread the good news.”