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|"AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION AND DISCRIMINATORY"|
|Officials continue to enforce Kyrgyzstan's repressive Bakiev-era Religion
Law, Forum 18 News Service has found. No progress has been made in dealing
with registration applications from - among others - hundreds of mosques,
unregistered Protestant churches, and the Hare Krishna community.
Unregistered religious activity is - against human rights standards
Kyrgyzstan has agreed to implement - banned. One major obstacle to gaining
legal status is the Religion Law's requirement that those wishing to found
a religious organisation - at least 200 adult permanent resident citizens
as founders under the Law - must identify themselves to national and local
authorities, which many are afraid to do - even if their community is that
large. Human rights defenders Valentina Gritsenko of Justice, a human
rights group in Jalalabad, and Dmitri Kabak of Open Viewpoint in Bishkek,
both describe the Law as "against the Constitution and discriminatory".
"Why should communities have to collect 200 signatures to worship or pray
together?" Gritsenko asked Forum 18.