24 June 2016

UZBEKISTAN: Prisoners of conscience jailed, one extradited

Uzbekistan jails two prisoners of conscience for five years for allegedly possessing Islamic sermon on music CD, and a third for seven years after Russian extradition for social media sermons. They were tortured and tried unfairly, the NSS secret police helping choose one lawyer. [read more...]

22 June 2016

AZERBAIJAN: One more sentenced prisoner of conscience

Shia Muslim imam and prisoner of conscience Nuhbala Rahimov has been given an 18-month sentence and his mosque taken over, and Taleh Bagirov faces more criminal charges. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Committee Against Torture have condemned the government's record. [read more...]

15 June 2016

UZBEKISTAN: Harshened Criminal and Administrative Code punishments

Uzbekistan has harshened its Administrative and Criminal Codes' restrictions and punishments for exercising the freedoms of religion and belief, and expression. Human rights defenders and religious believers think the changes target Muslims exercising these fundamental human rights, and give more possibilities to prosecute non-Muslims. [read more...]

14 June 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: Harsher laws planned as 89-year-old fined

Kazakhstan's President orders harsher Religion Law drafted by mid-August, as fines for exercising freedom of religion or belief continue. 89-year-old Baptist Yegor Prokopenko was again fined for leading his community, while an Atyrau giftshop owner was fined for offering four Korans for sale. [read more...]

10 June 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: Bank accounts blocked, "expert analysis" costs

At least 26 people convicted of exercising their freedom of religion and belief have had bank accounts blocked by the government without being informed of this, and without additional legal process. They are also required to pay for "expert analyses" used to convict them. [read more...]

8 June 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: 31st criminal conviction since December 2014

Kazakhstan has jailed Murat Takaumov for 9 months for alleged membership of Tabligh Jamaat, the 31st Muslim to be convicted. Five more alleged members are under investigation. And 12 Kazakh organisations have strongly criticised the government's ICCPR record to the UN Human Rights Committee. [read more...]

7 June 2016

UZBEKISTAN: Large fines for "illegal" religious literature

Uzbekistan continues raids, large fines and confiscation of "illegal" religious literature, at least 18 Protestants and 11 Jehovah's Witnesses being fined up to 60 times the minimum monthly salary. Asked whether people have freedom of religion and belief, a Judge told Forum 18 "maybe". [read more...]

2 June 2016

AZERBAIJAN: Fines for religious meetings "correct"?

The judge who upheld a large fine on a Jehovah's Witness for attending a worship meeting rejects the victim's argument that the fine violates the European Convention on Human Rights, telling Forum 18 his "decision is correct". Azerbaijan is obliged to uphold the Convention. [read more...]