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Uzbek Police Reportedly Raided Protestant Camp

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, September 7, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A Norwegian-based rights group says armed police and security officers last month raided a Protestant summer camp in Uzbekistan.

Forum 18 quotes eyewitnesses as saying the raid took place on August 24 in a village located near the southern city of Termez. Some 20 people were detained and religious literature was confiscated.

Forum 18 says that five of the detainees were released on September 4. One, identified as Husan Primbetov, remains in custody. The detainees had reportedly been ill-treated.

It also says one Ukrainian Baptist, Yuriy Stefanko, was arrested during the raid and is awaiting deportation.

A Russian-language Christian portal,, first reported on Stefanko's arrest on August 29. Uzbek officials denied the report.

Uzbek authorities last month ordered the closure of a Jehovah's Witnesses community in the eastern Ferghana Region, saying its members were leading an "obscene" lifestyle.