10:26 / 15.05.2019
Uzbekistan to reform the activities of religious organizations

On May 14, the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis held the regular extended meeting of the working group on monitoring the implementation of the “Roadmap” to ensure freedom of religion or belief.

During the meeting, Deputy Minister of Justice A. Tashkulov presented information on the development and innovations in the draft law “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations” in a new edition.

The purpose of this draft document is to bring the norms of the law in conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 16, 1966, simplify the procedure for state registration of a religious organization, identify specific grounds for refusing state registration, determine the powers of the competent state bodies in this area, and terminate activities of religious organization in a judicial procedure, the procedure for informing about the planned activities of religious organizations, the procedure for preparation and distribution of religious literature.

The draft law provides for simplifying the procedure for registering religious organizations with a reduction in the number of initiators for establishing religious organizations from 100 to 50 people, as well as the procedure for registering religious educational institutions. In order to improve the order in the field of production, import and distribution of religious materials, proposals have been developed for amending and supplementing the relevant decree of the Government of Uzbekistan.

Taking into account recommendations of an international expert to further streamline and simplify the procedure for state registration, re-registration and liquidation of religious organizations in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the state duty for registering religious organizations was reduced five times – from 100 MMW to 20 MMW for their central bodies and from 50 to 10 for religious organizations themselves. The procedure and deadlines for reporting to the registering authority were simplified by setting the requirements for submitting a report once a year. The right to liquidate religious organizations was excluded from the powers of the registering authority, a judicial procedure has been established for terminating the activities of a religious organization.

At the meeting of the working group, other issues were also discussed within the framework of implementing the “Roadmap” on ensuring freedom of religion or belief, and answers to the questions of interested parties were provided.