Uzbekistan: Shia Muslim fined for having Shia material

A court in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, imposed a fine on a young Shia man named Rashid Ibrahimov for having Shia religious material on his mobile phone.
According to what was published by Forum 18, and followed by Shia Waves, Ibrahimov’s phone was confiscated and a fine was imposed on him.
The agency quoted a judicial official saying, “Shia Muslims are punished if they possess any Shia religious materials.”
It added, “A prisoner of conscience was subjected to torture by beating his feet for exercising freedom of religion and belief.”
Ibrahimov said, “This punishment is not in line with international human rights law, which the regime claims to respect,” adding, “I do not think that having religious material is a crime.”
Aziz Khakimov, head of the court’s chancellery, claimed that “possessing religious materials for Shia followers is a crime according to the religion law”.
In a similar case, prisoner of conscience Tolkon Astanov, who was imprisoned for defending freedom of religion and belief for Muslims, received the medical treatment he needed four months later. His condition has seriously worsened as he has been subjected to additional prison sentences and his detention in poor conditions. However, the regime refuses to inform his lawyer or his family of his whereabouts.

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