ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2013.06.10

View Adopted: 2019.03.29

Karima Sabirova and Bobir Sabirov v. Uzbekistan

Arbitrary limitation on the freedom of religion in Uzbekistan

Substantive Issues
  • Arbitrary arrest
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Fair trial
  • Freedom of movement
  • Freedom of religion
  • Privacy
Relevant Articles
  • Article 12
  • Article 14
  • Article 17
  • Article 18
  • Article 2 - OP1
  • Article 9
Full Text


The authors are mother and son, both citizens of Uzbekistan, who claimed to be victims of violations of their rights under articles 9, 12, 14, 17 and 18 of the Covenant.

In May 2012, eight police officers in civilian clothes forced themselves into the author's apartment and searched it without presenting any authorisation or a warrant from a court. Upon locating religious and ethnic books, the officers accused the authors of being members of a "fictional" religious organisation.

The authors were later charged and found guilty of possessing materials of extremist, separatist or fundamentalist ideas, and sentenced to pay a fine of 100 times the monthly minimum wage as well as forfeit the religious and ethnic books. The trial only lasted minutes and they were unable to defend themselves during the hearing. All later appeals against this decision were later declined.


The authors claimed that the search was in violation of article 9 and 17 of the Covenant, by forcefully entering their homes. They further claimed that the state party did not conduct a fair hearing, violating their rights under article 14. They also claimed that their rights under article 18 were violated with respect to the confiscation and destruction of religious literature. 


The Committee found that the authors had failed to sufficiently substantiate their claim under articles 9, 12 and 14 and therefore declared these sections of the communication inadmissible. 


The Committee found that the forcible entry to the author's apartment constituted a violation of article 17 on the basis that the interference with the author's privacy was unreasonable and therefore arbitrary. The Committee also found that the intrusion and restriction of the author's practice of a particular religion was in violation of the author's rights under article 18(1) of the Covenant.


Pursuant to article 2(3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy, including making full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated. Accordingly, the State party is obligated to:

  • quash the authors’ administrative conviction and fine, and reimburse the authors the cost of the administrative fine that was paid by them and any other relevant costs incurred by the authors;
  • provide the authors with adequate compensation.
  • take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
  • publish the present views of the Committee in the official language of the state party.


The Committee requested that the state party provide an update outlining measures taken to give effect to the Committee's views within 180 days, or prior to 29 September 2019.

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