The following story has been taken from a previously posted eighteen page article from a trusted source. We will not name that source here because of security for Muhammad and his associates.
If you would like access to the full article email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue Muhammad's story from our blog post dated 11/05/20.
"This is a violation of their honor and dignity, as well as intrusion into their private lives," the Protestant complained to our source.
Traffic Police stopped Muhammad's car on 8 May to "see if he had a TV monitor in his car, which he did," Gofur Namozov, Chief of Karmana Criminal Police, claimed to our source on 3 June. "According to the new order, cars cannot have TV monitors in the passenger compartment." Asked why the four Protestants were taken to the Police Station, he replied: "Because they refused to sign the police report."
Protestants denied to our source that Muhammad's car has a TV monitor.
When Muhammad asked why he and his fellow-believers were stopped, Officer Ruziyev punched him in his abdomen, and two officers who did not give their names began strangling him. "He lost consciousness, and those beasts in uniforms instead of calling for doctors just gave him some drops of valerian [heart medicine]," a Protestant from Tashkent told our source.
When Kareem, another of the four Protestants, was brought into an office where five unknown officers were present, he told them that he is physically disabled and also suffers from asthma. "All five officers began smoking, because of which Kareem choked and asked them to take him out for fresh air." The officers "threatened that they could rape him."
Officer Ruziyev introduced himself on 3 June but immediately put the phone down when our source asked about the case and why he had beaten Muhammad. Subsequent calls on the same day went unanswered.
Namozov adamantly denied that any of the four had been beaten and tortured. "We only questioned them about the many visas and foreign stamps in their passports," he claimed. Asked why the police do this to someone inside the country, Namozov told our source: "We have specialists who can investigate such issues." Asked why individuals who traveled abroad must be questioned about their travels time and again, he responded: "It is our duty."
The use of physical violence and torture or threats of this by the authorities is widespread in Uzbekistan.
Passports are returned, but did police open the case?
The Protestants refused to sign any police reports or write statements. Officers finally released the four on the evening of 8 May after almost ten hours' detention. However, the police retained their passports and asked them to come back for them the next morning, 9 May.
The next day the passports were not returned, and the four were told that they would be held responsible under the Administrative Code for "not writing statements." Police returned the passports "after a week," the Protestant told our source. They said they believe that the Karmana Police have prepared administrative cases against the four and may already have handed them to court.
Though Police Chief Namozov claimed to our source that "We did not open any case," Inspector Kunakov, who participated in the interrogation, told our source that "investigation of the case is going on," but refused to give any details of the case.
Police resume search for Protestant in hiding.
Police in Karshi in the Kashkadarya Region resumed their search for a local Protestant Kuzebayeva. Between 7 and 23 May, officers harassed her relatives and a neighbor.
Caria went into hiding in July 2014 following a raid on her home and faces possible prosecution for allegedly talking to family members about her Christian faith. "She fears police brutality during interrogation and also possible short-term jailing," fellow Protestants told our source in April 2015
Every day between 7 and 16 May - at different times of the morning and evening - Karshi Criminal Police Officer Abdukhalil Buriyev came to her home, local Protestants told our source. He asked her relatives where she was and demanded that she present herself at Karshi Police Station. However, he refused to give the reasons for summoning Caria or submit an official summons.
On the afternoon of 16 May, Buriyev again came to Caria's home, accompanied by Karshi Police Department's Police Inspectors, Ilhom Jabborov, and Olim Rakhmonov. The officers refused to present an official summons.
Misconduct of the Officials.
Two days later, 18 May, seven people - including Karshi Police inspectors Fahriddin Jurayev, Dilmurod Boboyev, and the Chair of the local Mahalla Committee (residential administration), Hanifa Panayeva - arrived in two cars outside Caria's home. Accompanying them were four women who did not identify themselves.
The officials and the four women "acted like hooligans," Protestants complained to our source. "They banged on the metallic gates to the yard of her home with their hands and kicked with their feet, yelled Caria's name, and demanded that she open the door." The four women "shouted and called Caria all kinds of uncensored curse words." Police "tried to climb over the wall and enter the yard, but could not."
The officials gained access to Caria's neighbor's yard by pretending to check her gas and electricity meters. The police climbed over the wall between the two homes into Caria's yard. "When they realized that someone from Caria's home was filming their illegal intrusion, the Officers climbed back over the wall and hid behind it." From behind the wall, the Officers "yelled that they would detain Caria at any cost, get her to the Police Station, and find anything to accuse her of." They then left.
Officer Buriyev claimed that "a complaint from citizens was filed to the police against Caria," he told our source on 3 June. "The police just want to question her about the complaint." He adamantly denied that he or his police colleagues disturbed Caria or her relatives. "This is all lies."
Officer Buriyev then asked our source: "Why won't she come and see for herself what the complaint is about?" Told that she fears that she may be beaten or tortured in other ways, he brushed this off. "In Uzbekistan, the Police never acts like that." Asked whether he also denies the film of the police officer climbing over the wall of Caria's house and the swearing addressed to her, Buriyev immediately put the phone down. Subsequent calls to him on the same day went unanswered. Women are often particularly targeted by male officials with violence, torture, and threats.
We have chosen to end the story here to avoid the chance of divulging information about those we've sought to protect. However, if you would like access to the full 18-page report, please email me at email@example.com.
As you have read, not only Muhammad but many of his fellow protestants are serving God and preaching the Gospel amid terrible persecution and torture.
It's been a few years since this story was published, and it is incredible to know that Muhammad and his friends have continued to bring the Gospel to Central Asia.
Muhammad now serves as TVSEMINARY'S Central Asian coordinator. He plays a vital role in recruiting translators for the Usbek languages, feeding the many affected by Covid 19, preaching the Gospel, engaging students, and translating when necessary.
Without him and his associates, our Central Asian Campaign would be impossible.