NOVEMBER 8, 2018
In a six-month period beginning in March 2018, the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan and the Administrative Court of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic in Uzbekistan, decided in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses in cases related to our freedom of worship. The Supreme Court reversed four lower court rulings against our brothers, and the Administrative Court reversed a fifth decision.
Several of the cases involving our brothers resulted from police investigations in which authorities seized Bible-based literature, as well as electronic devices that contained copies of the Bible. As a result, lower courts found the brothers guilty and imposed fines on the basis of a law that can be interpreted as prohibiting the distribution of religious material. Thankfully, these recent high court decisions exonerate our brothers from these guilty verdicts and exempt them from the fines.
One of the Witnesses who was originally found guilty by the lower courts, Timur Satdanov, wrote a letter to the president of the Republic, thanking him for the Supreme Court’s favorable decision. Brother Satdanov expressed his gratitude and explained that he and fellow Witnesses will continue to pray for those “in high positions” so that they can “go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion and seriousness.” (1 Timothy 2:2) The deputy chairman of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases at the Supreme Court acknowledged the letter and indicated that its contents were discussed and noted.
Witnesses worldwide rejoice at these developments, grateful to the authorities and, above all, to Jehovah for his guidance and support ‘in the defending and legally establishing of his good news.’—Philippians 1:7.