The ten-day prison terms handed down to Lepes Omarov and another Protestant in Karakalpakstan on July 8, 2010, has brought to seven the number of people known to Forum 18 News Service (www.forum18.org) to have been given short-term prison terms in 2010 to punish them for their religious activity.
According to a story by Felix Corley for Forum 18, all religious activity in Karakalpakstan, outside state-approved mosques and one Russian Orthodox church, is banned.
Elsewhere in Uzbekistan, a Protestant in Tashkent Region was given a written warning that “as the leader of an illegally functioning cell of Protestant tendency” he was breaking the law by holding religious services and sharing his faith and risks prosecution.
Corley said that an “Anti-Terror” operation in Fergana targeted two Baptists offering Christian books – they were fined, while the verdict records that the court “considers it necessary” that the four books confiscated from them be destroyed.
“No official would discuss these cases with Forum 18,” he added.
Dan Wooding, Assist News Service