Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

OSCE Over Restrictions In Kazakhstan’s New Religion Law

Posted by Info on 29/09/2011

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) expressed concern about the passage of restrictive religion legislation by Kazakhstan’s senate.
The law, which still needs to be signed by the President to enter into force, requires re-registration of all religious communities, bans unregistered religious activities and introduces high penalties for violations of the ban.

Other concerns include the requirement for religious organizations to submit to a “religious study examination”
by a government body; restrictions on the distribution of religious literature outside of religious buildings, religious educational institutions and other facilities identified by local executive bodies; and the requirement for anyone engaged in “missionary activity” to re-register.

ODIHR, in 2009, provided a legal opinion on an earlier version of the law that included similar provisions, concluding that the rights of religious groups would be negatively affected. The draft was subsequently rejected by Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council.

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