Uzbekistan: Conscientious objection only for some registered religions

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During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council, Uzbekistan insisted that conscientious objection will only be recognised for "members of registered religious organizations, the faith of which prevent the use of weapons and service in the armed forces". According to the Uzbek government, "the regulation of issues related to the execution by citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan of the universal military duty and the fulfillment of military service are determined by the law of the Republic Uzbekistan «On Universal Military Duty and Military Service» of 12 December 2002 (with subsequent amendments). Universal military duty includes the preparation of citizens for military service, conscription, fulfillment of military service on conscription or on a contract base, military reserve service, alternative service, compliance with the rules of military record keeping, measures to protect the population in emergency situations or in a case of war aggression against the Republic of Uzbekistan".

"Currently, the rights to conduct alternative service are granted to citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan, who are members of religious organizations, such as «Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians - Baptists», «Jehovah's Witnesses», «Christian Church - Seventh Day Adventist», «Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians - Baptists»."

According to the Working Group report, Uzbekistan indicated that it would study whether the recommendation of Slovenia to "ensure that conscientious objection to military service is available to individuals irrespective of their religion or belief and that the process for consideration applications is under civilian control and to provide a non-punitive civilian alternative service" complies with the national legislation, and would provide an answer in due time. However, in the report on the conclusion Uzbekistan only reiterates the present legal situation, without any comment that it would change the law to broaden the scope of the right to conscientious objection.

Source: Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review: Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Uzbekistan, A/HRC/WG.6/3/L.15, 19 December 2008; Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review: Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Uzbekistan: Addendum: Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review, A/HRC/10/83/Add.1, 13 March 2009

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