In Washington, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan Javlon Vakhabov met with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief of the UN Human Rights Council Ahmed Shaheed.
According to the MFA press service, during the meeting, the progress of implementation of the “roadmap” approved by the Parliament of Uzbekistan, which was aimed at applying the recommendations of Ahmed Shaheed following his visit to Tashkent in October 2017, was discussed in detail.
The measures taken in Uzbekistan to improve legislation and law enforcement practices to ensure religious freedom were discussed. Progress was made to simplify the registration and implementation of activities of religious organizations, strengthen institutional mechanisms for promoting enlightened Islam and improve religious education, decriminalize and de-radicalize prisoners for religion-related crimes.
The process of developing the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations” in a new edition will be separately considered.
Ahmed Shaheed praised the efforts undertaken in Uzbekistan to ensure religious freedom and emphasized that “significant results have been achieved in the country”. The UN representative welcomed the interaction with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which, in his opinion, has a professional group of experts, who know the specifics and priorities of Uzbekistan. It was emphasized that the office of the Special Rapporteur is interested in every possible contribution to further promoting reforms in the field of protecting freedom of religion.
Following the meeting, Ahmed Shaheed expressed his readiness to visit Uzbekistan again in early 2020.