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Protestants In Uzbekistan Face Terror Charges

A Protestant from northwest Uzbekistan, Aimurat Khayburahmanov, was arrested on June 14 and is still in detention before facing criminal trial on terrorism charges, the Forum 18 News Service reports.

Uzbek police also recently accused a Protestant refugee in Kazakhstan of terrorism charges, while four Baptists in the Tashkent Region -- Natalya Ogai, Filipp Kim, Dmitri Kim and Nurlan Tolebaev – were fined and sentenced to 10 days' imprisonment, because of their peaceful religious activity, Forum 18 reports.

Fines continue to be imposed on other Protestants, the agency says. However, a court in the capital, Tashkent, found that charges against a Protestant had been fabricated and ordered police to be reprimanded.

Members of Tashkent's Hare Krishna community have been banned from taking part in a music and environment festival, however.

The Karakalpakstan autonomous region in Uzbekistan's west operates a particularly harsh religious policy, Forum 18 reports, with all nonstate-controlled Muslim and non-Russian Orthodox activity being a criminal offense.

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