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PRESS OFFICE
October 24, 2005
Press-Release: THE MEASURES, TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE FIELD OF PROVIDING AND ENCOURAGING HUMAN RIGHTS
THE MEASURES, TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE FIELD OF PROVIDING AND ENCOURAGING HUMAN RIGHTS

At the present moment in the field of human rights the followings have been carried out in Uzbekistan.

1. It was adopted by the parliament over 300 laws, regulating rights and basic freedom of the people. Only for the last year the new edition of the law on ?Ombudsman?, directed at expansion of authorities of the institute was accepted. Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan on ?Public funds? and ?Elections of members of self-government institutions? were adopted.

2. Within the framework of realization of the ?Viennese Declaration? and the ?Program of actions?, the system of national institutes on human rights was found. Such national institutes on human rights, like Parliamentary Ombudsman, Constitutional court, the National center on human rights, Institute on monitoring of the current legislation are also functioning.

3. For last year by the Republic of Uzbekistan it was presented six national reports on fulfillment of the international commitments to the conventional bodies of the United Nations: The National report on fulfillment of the International Pact on civil and political rights, the National report on fulfillment of the International Pact on economic, social and cultural rights, the National report on fulfillment of the Convention on eliminating all forms of discrimination in respect of women, the National report on fulfillment of the Convention on eliminating all forms of racial discrimination, the National report on fulfillment of the Convention on the child?s rights, the National report on fulfillment of the Convention against tortures and other severe, brutal methods of treatment and punishment.

The national report on fulfillment of the International Pact on civil and political rights was considered by the Committee on human rights in March, 2005 and it was elaborated under the recommendations of this Committee the National plan of actions, ratified on September 27, 2005.

4. Within the framework of the United Nations? 10-anniverssary in the sphere of human rights it was found the educational system on human rights in Uzbekistan. In all schools and universities the curriculum on \"Human rights\" was launched.

The program on improving the professional skills of workers of law enforcement bodies (judges, lawyers, militia, prosecutors) includes human rights issues. The adopted by the Parliament National program on increasing legal competency of the society is successfully realized.

5. Within the framework of the worldwide campaign of the United Nations on public information in the field of human rights it is being carried out wide scale works in sphere of human. So, it was translated into the Uzbek language and issued more than 100 basic international legal documents on human rights jointly with UNDP, UNICEF, OSCE, ????. It is issued more than 40 legal newspapers and magazines on human rights subjects.

6. In Uzbekistan it was found the system on dealing with complaints, coming as a result of illegal actions by officials, based on the priority of law, including institutional -legal mechanism.

7. In Uzbekistan it was introduced completely new concept of judicial - legal system.

In the field of criminal court proceedings it was taken the following measures, directed at providing courts independence:

- it was carried out specialization of courts on criminal, civil and economic cases;

- it was introduced the institutes of appeal and cassation court proceeding;

- the law reduces terms of investigation and detaining of people, it was established tough terms of court proceedings;

- it was created democratic legal mechanism of selecting and appointing the judicial staff;

- it is functioning the Department on executing court decisions, and courts were freed from functions unusual for them;

- In courts it is provided the competition principle, that is equality of the rights of the public prosecutor and the lawyer;

- according to the Decree of the President it was elaborated legal mechanisms of transferring of sanctions on arrest from Prosecutor to courts, which will enter into force from January 1, 2008.

IN THE FIELD OF CRIMINAL AND PENITENTIARY LEGISLATIONS:

- Classification of crimes is completely changed, the list of the criminal actions, falling under a category of less severe and out of public danger, is expanded. As a result of such approach only for last 2,5 years about 5 thousand people, committed crimes, that is not generating big public danger, were not imprisoned and they compensated a material damage in amount of 11 billion soums;

- imprisonment conditions were improved: it was softened the conditions in colonies. As the result, a share of the imprisoned people has increased from 7 % in 1990 up to 21 %;

- the quantity of clauses, giving rights to be free before imprisoned time, is increased. At the present moment, according to the quantity of imprisoned (39 thousand) Uzbekistan ranks per capita the best - last place among the CIS countries. In other words, the quantity of imprisoned on 100 thousand population comprises 158 people.;

- the institute of reconciliation, within the framework of realization of justice, is entered into the legislation. Usage of this institute enabled to release from the criminal cases over 26 thousand people.

- according to the Decree of the President organizational - legal conditions for a full cancellation of a death penalty since January, 1, 2008 are being prepared.

CANCELLATION OF A DEATH PENALTY IN THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

For last decade the quantity of crimes, for which death sentences could be applied, was reduced from 33 up to two. Nowadays, the death penalty is applied in two cases - deliberate murder under aggravating circumstances and terrorism.

Thus, Uzbekistan is dealing with the matter to solve this problem from first day of its independence.

It is necessary to note, that in Uzbekistan application of a death penalty is prohibited:

Firstly, to minors,

Secondly, to women and,

Thirdly, to those beyond 60.

Thus, in the criminal legislation of Uzbekistan the quantity of crimes, for which the death penalty can be applied, comprises less than 1 % of total of criminal cases. The present policy of Uzbekistan in sphere of criminal and justice, especially application of a death penalty fully complies with world tendencies and reflects principles of humanism and equity.

On August 1, 2005, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan issued the Decree ?On cancellation of a death penalty?. Thus, Uzbekistan became the country, where it was abolished a death penalty.

It is necessary to note, that the matter is not the moratorium on a death penalty as it is done in some countries, when sentenced waits for year, but it is about the full cancellation.

Nowadays, in Uzbekistan it is conducted all round of propaganda measures in the sphere of legislature in three directions, directed at canceling a death penalty.

1. Amendments and additions are being prepared to three codes: Criminal, Criminal ? juridical and Criminal ? executive, connected with cancellation of a death penalty and introduction of life imprisonment or long terms of imprisonment.

2. The cancellation of a death penalty will demand to carry out a wide explanatory work among the population, firstly, to change people?s attitude to that problem. As it shows annual sociological survey of the population by the nongovernmental Center sociological studies ????????? ????? more than 75% of respondents oppose cancellation of a death penalty.

3. It is necessary to carry out the organizational - preparatory measures, connected with construction of complexes, creating conditions for the keeping people in arrest, whom life imprisonment or long terms of imprisonment is applied instead of death penalty, preparation of the personnel to work in these conditions.

Therefore for a full cancellation of a death penalty it is required to Uzbekistan more than two years. The death penalty will be completely cancelled from January 1, 2008. The government of Uzbekistan is conducting fruitful cooperation with Committee of UN on human rights, including death penalty issues (a clause 92 of Rules of procedure HRC) in respect of Uzbek citizens, whose cases are on consideration of HRC. For the period it was not executed a verdict.

MEASURES TAKEN TO ENSURE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

Throughout the historical period the representatives of world religions and various beliefs peacefully coexist in Uzbekistan. Supreme sense of tolerance is inherent to Uzbek people and it is an integral part of Uzbekistan?s modern culture.

Ensuring the freedom of conscience and belief is of great importance for Uzbekistan but according to some of the observers allegedly it does not quite meet democratic norms. In Uzbekistan, where the representatives of 15 religious confessions reside, all citizens are free to practice their religious beliefs, which is guaranteed by the Constitution and national laws.

The Article 18 of the Constitution has set the equality of the citizens? rights regardless of differences in gender, race, nationality, language, religious, social heritage, convictions, and person or social position.

Adoption of the Law ?On freedom of conscience and religious organizations? on June 14, 1991 has led to the qualitative changes of the role and judicial status of religious organizations.

The Law has reflected new attitude of the State towards religion and believers after a long-term policy of militant atheism, which dominated in post-soviet countries.

In accordance with the Law, citizens were granted a right to practice a religion, to make devotions and rituals, to pilgrimage to the Holy places either individually or collectively.

Adoption of new edition of the Law on May 1, 1998 has become a further step towards the construction of the democratic secular state. It has specifically defined the role and status of religious organizations as well as their interaction with state agencies.

The state promotes an establishment of the relations of mutual tolerance and respect between the citizens, practicing different religions and not confessing them, as well as between different religious organizations. Religious and any kind fanaticism and extremism, as well as actions confronting and aggravating the relations, stirring up enmity between different confessions and sects are not allowed. Having been a secular, the State in its relations with organizations conforms to the following principles:

?to respect religious feelings of the believers;

?to consider the religious beliefs as a personal thing of the citizen or their unions;

? to guarantee equal rights and inadmissibility of persecution of the citizens for practicing their religious views as well for not practicing them;

?the necessity to find a dialogue with various religious unions in order to use their capabilities in spiritual renascence, consolidation common human moral values;

?to accept inadmissibility of use of the religion in destructive purposes.

New policy of the State has provided with more opportunities to develop the activity of different religious organizations on the territory of Uzbekistan. If in 1990 there were 211 religious organizations, and today 2202 religious organizations and 16 confessions are registered in the Republic. There are 2016 Muslim organizations that make 91.5 % out of the total number. There are 170 Christian organizations, 8 Jewish communities, 6 Bahai communities, one community of Krishna followers and one Buddhist Temple.

State registration of religious organizations is being issued according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan ?On religious organizations? state registration procedure in Uzbekistan? from June 20, 1998. The registration of religious organization is going on. For 8 month of this year only 19 religious organizations have got their state registrations, including 17 mosques, a Christian church and a Jewish community.

The Council for confessional affairs was established under the Committee for religious affairs to promote close cooperation with religious organizations. The Council includes leaders of the Muslims Board of Uzbekistan, Tashkent and Central Asian eparchy Russian Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, Union of Evangelical Churches of Baptist Christians, Center of full Evangelic Christian Churches, Evangelic Lutheran churches and Tashkent Jewish community.

Issues of exercising of national laws, preserving rights of religious organizations and believers, as well as other urgent problems are discussed at the meetings that are held by the Council for confessional affairs.

Believers of Uzbekistan freely celebrate all religious holidays. That is why; year-by-year in a wide scale Muslims celebrate Idul Adha and Idul Fitri, Christians - Easter and Christmas, Jews ? Peysah, Purim and Hanukkah.

?oreover, every year believers make pilgrimages to holy places with comprehensive assistance of the government ? muslims to Saudi Arabia for hadj and Umra, christians ? to Russia, Greece and Israel, jews ? to Israel. during the years of independence more than 45 thousand citizens of Uzbekistan were given opportunity to make hadj in Saudi Arabia and pilgrimages to Russia, Greece and Israel. Pilgrims receive a wide-ranging assistance including charter flights, medical care, lowered prices on air tickets, rapid and unhindered issuing of visas.

The Koran, Gospel (2 books of Old Testament (Genesis and Psalter) and 27 books of New Testament) as well as some parts of Old Testament (Solomon?s Parable, The Ecclesiast, 1-4 Books of Reigns, Daniel, Ruth, Iona, Esfir) were translated to Uzbek during the years of independence in Uzbekistan.

In late 2004 the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan and the National Blind Society held presentation of Koran printed with Braille script. Uzbekistan has become the third county in the world that made this noble deed. Approximately 24 thousand blind people live in Uzbekistan. From now on, every special boarding school and public library will be provided with copies of Koran printed with Braille script as well as every one who wish to have a copy, will have an opportunity to do so.

The system of religious education of Uzbekistan includes Tashkent Islamic Institute, 10 madrasahs, Orthodox and Protestant seminaries. In 2004-2005 academic year 122 students studied in Tashkent Islamic Institute, 794 ? in madrasah, 45 ? in Orthodox seminary and 42 ? in Protestant seminary. 46 pedagogues teach in Tashkent Islamic Institute, 231 ? in madrasah, 20 ? in Orthodox seminary and 15 ? in Protestant seminary. There are 32 graduates from Tashkent Islamic Institute, 189 ? from madrasah, 9 ? from Orthodox seminary and 6 ? from Protestant seminary in Uzbekistan.

Tashkent Islamic University was opened in September 1999 in Tashkent.

The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan makes all the best to provide their citizens with guaranteed right for freedom of conscience.


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