Amendments to Uzbekistan Administrative and Criminal Codes violate citizens' rights

18 January 2006

ICNL has prepared comments on the Law of Uzbekistan “On amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan and to the Code of Administrative Liability of the Republic of Uzbekistan” adopted by the Legislative Chamber on November 22, 2005, approved by the Senate on December 3, 2005, and signed into law by President Karimov on December 28, 2005 (hereinafter – “the Law”). These Comments present a review of the Law for its consistency with international standards, and offer a perspective on its potential consequences for non-governmental, non-profit organizations and associations (hereinafter NGOs).

The Law in question amends 16 articles of the Administrative and Criminal Codes (hereinafter AC and CC). In ten of the amended articles, the only change was a toughening of sanctions, while two articles were replaced by newer versions, and two completely new articles were added.

A number of articles in the Law have a general application, rather than regulating NGOs specifically. However, as the Uzbek Law is similar to the law adopted by Kazakhstan in spring-summer 2005 prior to elections, and, as most articles in the new Law will directly affect human rights, we expect all articles to affect NGOs as well.

Several provisions of the Law violate citizens’ right to association, to expression, to peaceful assembly - meetings and demonstrations, and to freedom of thought. Uzbekistan has an international obligation to guarantee these rights under articles 18, 19, 21, 22, and 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 19 December 1966. For more information, please see the below links to full comments in English and Russian as well as the legislation in English and Russian.


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