At the session of the Legislative Chamber on September 5, MPs considered a package of amendments to the Administrative Liability Code and the Criminal Code, the press service of the lower house said. These amendments would reportedly create legal basis for enhancing Uzbekistan as a secular state as enshrined in the Constitution.
The amendments propose to create liability for propaganda of the superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their national, racial, ethnic or religious affiliation.
As MPs underscored, in spite of the fact that Liability for inciting religious hatred has already been established in criminal and administrative legislation, “the fact that these articles are outlined in a declarative tone does not allow us to give a legal assessment and qualification of such actions and persons committing them. ".
While, the proposed to introduce liability for the performance of a religious ceremony for marriage without legal registration of marriage.
They noted that the number of marriages only through religious rites was rising in Uzbekistan, as a result of which cases of polygamy are getting more common.
“The propaganda of polygamy and its “advantages” is also gaining momentum through advertising, entertainment and analytical stories,” the Legislative Chamber noted.
As a result, the number of children born out of wedlock has also risen. In particular, in Uzbekistan in 2022, according to applications from single mothers, 18,955 children were born in extramarital status. In 2021, this figure was 19,037 children, and in 2020 - 16,564 children.
Unregistered marriages entail problems related to the establishment of paternity, the appointment of alimony, inheritance, as a result, citizens, especially women, lose confidence in the state as a guarantor of ensuring the protection of their rights, the Legislative Chamber emphasized.
The bill provides for administrative liability for promoting cohabitation with two or more wives, as well as for open denial of the equal rights of women and men.
Recently, the deputies noted, there had been cases of propaganda of gender inequality through the media and social networks. This situation is an indirect discrimination and breaches the Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men law.
Such actions hinder Uzbekistan from fully performing its obligations arising from international agreements, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Uzbekistan joined it on May 6, 1995).
The amendments proposed to introduce administrative Liability for wearing clothes in public places that hamper the identification of citizens. This measure is aimed at the effective operation of information programs implemented within the Safe City concept.
The condition excluding liability is cases when the face is covered, but identifiable, on the basis of medical instructions or related to work and official activities, as well as if special headgear is worn to ensure road safety (probably we are talking about helmets of motorcyclists and cyclists) or sports and cultural events.
The measures of Liability that are supposed to be introduced by the project are used in a number of foreign countries, including France, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Turkey, Morocco, Kazakhstan, India and Indonesia, the Legislative Chamber said in a statement.
As noted at the meeting, the adoption of the bill "will serve to strengthen interethnic harmony, religious tolerance and reliable protection of the rights of women and children, as well as increase the effectiveness of efforts to maintain public order."
“After heated discussions and a long debate, the bill was adopted by the deputies,” the press service of the lower house of parliament noted.