20 March 2018

RUSSIA: Increasing land use fines "a lottery"

The number of fines for meeting for worship on land not designated for religious use (such as in homes) has increased sharply from 2016. One lawyer compared the legal situation to fining a driver whose passengers drink tea because a road is not designated for drinking tea. [read more...]

19 March 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Officials bully child, "show trial", fines

The authorities in Uzbekistan's Navoi Region keep raiding and punishing local Baptists "to stop them meeting for worship and peaceful religious activity". Baptists also said that the authorities compel the relatives of ethnic Uzbek Christians to try to stop family members from meeting co-believers. [read more...]

15 March 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: One church, two prosecutions

Shymkent's New Life Protestant Church was fined for having three not five fire detectors in a storage building and banned for one month. The ban will go into force if the church's appeal fails. But the court acquitted a church member of helping an apparent police agent provocateur download a Bible onto her phone. [read more...]

5 March 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: 24 criminal convictions in 2017, more imminent?

Zholbarys Zhumanazarov – jailed for one year in Almaty Region for alleged membership of the Tabligh Jamaat Muslim missionary movement – became the 24th known individual given a criminal conviction in 2017 for exercising freedom of religion and belief. The criminal trial of three more begins in Karaganda on 12 March. [read more...]

1 March 2018

RUSSIA: Ten years' jail for religious study meetings?

Ilgar Aliyev – a Muslim studied Islam with others using books by theologian Said Nursi – faces up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted at his Dagestan trial. Imam Komil Odilov faces up to eight years on similar charges. The criminal trials of two others have lasted nearly a year. [read more...]

27 February 2018

TAJIKISTAN: Conscientious objection appeal to UN Human Rights Committee?

Prisoner of conscience Daniil Islamov is preparing to appeal for the last time to Tajikistan's Supreme Court against a six-month jail term for refusing compulsory military service. If this appeal is rejected, he is likely to appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee. [read more...]

26 February 2018

TAJIKISTAN: Almost 2,000 mosques closed in 2017

Tajikistan has claimed to have closed almost 2,000 mosques in 2017. Officials claimed they were closed at the request of local residents, but have not been able to explain why they only allow mosques with a capacity far below the possible numbers of worshippers. [read more...]

20 February 2018

RUSSIA: Two criminal trials, three criminal investigations

The criminal trial of Danish Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen, accused of "continuing the activities of a banned extremist organisation", began in Oryol after nearly nine months' detention. Investigators launched three similar criminal investigations against Jehovah's Witnesses in Belgorod, Kemerovo and Oryol. Arkady Akopyan is on trial for inciting religious hatred. [read more...]