Meinbezirk – 2nd December 2018
High courts pronounce Jehovah’s Witnesses in Uzbekistan free
Since March 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been prosecuted in several criminal cases relating to freedom of worship within six months. The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan overturned four preliminary decisions against Jehovah’s Witnesses and a fifth was overturned by the Karakalpakistan Administrative Court (an autonomous republic in Uzbekistan).
Several of these criminal cases against Jehovah’s Witnesses were the result of police investigations that confiscated biblical publications and electronic devices containing copies of the Bible. As a result, lower courts found the defendants guilty and imposed fines based on a law that can be interpreted as prohibiting the distribution of religious literature.
Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lower Austria and their fellow believers are freeing themselves from all charges and acquitting them of the fines imposed by the recent Supreme Court decisions.
Timur Satdanov, a Jehovah’s Witness convicted by the lower courts, thanked the Supreme Court for its positive decision in a letter to the President of the Republic. The deputy chairman of the Supreme Court’s Administrative Chamber for Administrative Procedure confirmed receipt of the letter and stated that the contents were being considered and discussed.
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