Underground sect members fined in Uzbekistan

Tashkent, July 16, Interfax – An Uzbek court has fined seven members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect, which was active in the city of Kagan in the Buhara region.

“The court upheld the guilty verdict for Fazila Ibodova. She was found guilty of breaching the administrative code and the law on religious organizations,” a source in the city criminal court told Interfax on Monday.

“The court found Ibodova guilty and ordered her to pay nine minimal salaries [the minimal salary in Uzbekistan stands at 12,420 sums, and the exchange rate is 1,266 sums to the dollar] in fines. The court fined another six sect members for amounts varying from two to ten minimal salaries,” he said.

According to the Uzbek Religious Affairs Committee, the sect is officially registered only in the city of Chirchik in the Tashkent region. Over all, 2,222 organizations of 16 religions are registered in Uzbekistan. The overwhelming majority of them, 2,042, are Islamic. Nearly 88% of Uzbekistan’s citizens are Muslims.

There are also 164 Christian organizations, eight Jewish communities, six Bahai communities, a Krishna community and a Buddhist temple.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday July 16, 2007.
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