Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Uzbekistan: severe religious literature censorship

Felix Corley of Forum 18 reports that Uzbekistan maintains a policy of severe censorship against religious literature, including the burning of books:

"Uzbekistan continues to maintain severe religious literature censorship, Forum 18 News Service notes. Current examples include two shipments of Jehovah's Witness literature – one in transit for Tajikistan and one intended for an Uzbek congregation – which have been held for more than a year. Other religious communities, such as Protestants and Muslims, also experience problems. A Protestant, involved in sending literature requested by Christians in Uzbekistan, told Forum 18 that most shipments never arrived. 'This was either through postal inefficiency or because it was rejected at Uzbek customs,' the Protestant stated. 'So we have given up trying to send literature.' Many who would like to receive literature are afraid of the consequences of being identified by the authorities as Christians, from their receiving literature by post. Uzbek officials are reluctant to discuss the issue, but insist that religious material can only be received after specific approval by the state Religious Affairs Committee. Uzbekistan frequently burns religious literature, including the Bible, confiscated from Muslims, Protestants, Hare Krishna devotees and Jehovah's Witnesses. Even legally imported literature is confiscated in police raids."

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