POLITICS | 20:44 / 12.06.2024
4 min read

Uzbekistan to deny entry to foreigners who speak ill of the country and undermine its sovereignty

According to the draft law developed by deputies, foreign citizens who make statements against the state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of Uzbekistan or disparage the honor, dignity, or history of the Uzbek people will not be allowed entry into Uzbekistan. If they are in Uzbekistan, they will be deported and face a range of prohibitions.

A group of deputies from the Legislative Chamber has developed a draft law to amend and supplement the law "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons in the Republic of Uzbekistan."

According to the Legislative Chamber, the need for additional measures to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uzbekistan has necessitated these changes.

The draft law introduces changes and additions to the law, reflecting the practices of countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Poland, Belarus, and China, including:

Firstly, the basis and procedure for declaring the presence of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Uzbekistan as undesirable are being established.

The following public statements or actions by these individuals will be grounds for declaring their stay in Uzbekistan as undesirable:

- Statements or actions against Uzbekistan's state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security; inciting interstate, social, national, racial, and religious hostility; disparaging the honor, dignity, or history of the Uzbek people.

Secondly, for a period of five years, the following will be prohibited for foreign citizens or stateless persons deemed undesirable in the country:

- Entry into Uzbekistan, opening bank accounts, purchasing real estate, participating in the privatization of state property, and engaging in financial and contractual relations.

Thirdly, if the presence of a foreign citizen temporarily or permanently residing in Uzbekistan or a stateless person temporarily residing in the country is found undesirable, it nullifies their legal grounds for residing and being in the territory of Uzbekistan and leads to the deportation of that person.

Fourthly, the draft law sets out the grounds and procedures for deporting individuals found to be undesirable in the country.

In particular, an individual found undesirable must voluntarily leave Uzbekistan within ten days from receiving a notification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If they do not voluntarily leave within this period, they will be deported by internal affairs bodies and other authorized entities, that is, forcibly expelled.

"The draft law is aimed at strengthening the state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of Uzbekistan, protecting interstate, interethnic, and interreligious harmony and cohesion in our country, and ensuring respect for the honor, dignity, and history of the Uzbek people," states the official release.

It is worth noting that in recent months, several Russian officials and propagandists, specifically Zakhar Prilepin, Mikhail Smolin, Mikhail Delyagin, Yevgeny Fyodorov, Pyotr Tolstoy, and others, have provoked the ire of the Uzbek public with their threatening and false statements directed at Uzbekistan and the Uzbek people. Several activists have called on officials to ban such individuals from entering Uzbekistan.

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