GENEVA, December, 22. /IA "Dunyo"/. Due to the recent exclusion of Uzbekistan from the Watch List of the countries violating religious freedoms by the United States State Department, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief Ahmad Shahid commented the country's achievements in this area in an interview with “Dunyo” Information Agency.
- I would like to congratulate President Shavkat Mitziyoyev and the Government and people of Uzbekistan on exclusion of Uzbekistan from the special Watch List compiled by the US State Department of states engaged in serious violations of the religious freedom.
This is an important milestone that highlights the significant and concrete progress made by the country in recent months. This developments are important as they're coming in year where in many parts of the world we are seeing regression in human rights protections.
I hope success so far achieved in Uzbekistan will encourage other countries to make progress in addressing what can be difficult issues but are necessary for sustaining long-term peace and progress.
I also wish to note that these steps have been taken by the Government in its pledge to implement the recommendations made in my report after visiting Uzbekistan in 2017. I am encouraged for the steps taken by the Government for my report and by the Government's continuous engagement with me on these issues.
And I look forward to visiting Uzbekistan in the near future to work with all stakeholders to support advancement of the recommendations I've made in the report and to build on collaborate further to promote respect for freedom of religion or belief for all.
The year 2020 thus ending on a high note for Uzbekistan. I would like to extend my warmest wishes of the festive season for all in Uzbekistan.
Thank you very much.
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