Date:                       May 24, 2023


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

USCIRF Conversation: Evaluating Religious Freedom in Uzbekistan

Thursday, June 8, 2023
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET
Virtual Event

Register Here

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual event to evaluate shifting religious freedom conditions in Uzbekistan.

Under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has taken noticeable steps to improve conditions for religious freedom in the country and to engage with international partners, including the U.S. government, on ways to further protect and promote this fundamental freedom. Despite this progress, however, USCIRF has documented the continuation of several problematic practices, such as the regular detention, arrest, and imprisonment of Muslims related to their religious activities. In recent months, authorities have fined or sentenced Muslim bloggers for online comments that express their religious views and raided an unregistered Baptist church in the midst of conducting Easter services. Uzbekistan has also continued to imprison an estimated two thousand religious prisoners of conscience, whom authorities have reportedly ill-treated, prevented from fasting during Ramadan, and subjected to additional pressure even after their release. This conversation will examine ongoing and emerging concerns related to freedom of religion or belief in Uzbekistan.

USCIRF Chair Nury Turkel and Commissioner David Curry will join guest panelists Ahmed Shaheed and Mihra Rittmann. USCIRF Supervisory Policy Analyst Keely Bakken will moderate the conversation, followed by questions and answers, including questions from the audience. 


  • Nury Turkel, Chair, USCIRF 
  • David Curry, Commissioner, USCIRF
  • Ahmed Shaheed, Professor of International Human Rights Law in the School of Law and Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
  • Mihra Rittmann, Senior Researcher on Central Asia at Human Rights Watch
  • Keely Bakken, Supervisory Policy Analyst,  USCIRF  

This virtual event is open to the public and media. The video recording will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..