30 June 2016

BELARUS: State ends priest's 25-year parish ministry

The Belarusian government's senior religious affairs official ends 25 years' parish service by Polish Catholic priest Fr Andrzej Stopyra with no explanation. The official also denied permission for Indian Catholic priest Fr James Manjackal to visit Belarus to lead religious exercises in a parish. [read more...]

29 June 2016

RUSSIA: Eleven new "extremism" criminal trials?

Eleven further Muslims face criminal prosecution for reading works of theologian Said Nursi the authorities claim are "extremist". Five are in pre-trial detention and three under travel restrictions. A twelfth has already been given a two-year suspended sentence, the first for sharing Nursi's works online. [read more...]

28 June 2016

UZBEKISTAN: Three-year imprisonment for religious literature?

Stanislav Kim could be jailed for up to three years if convicted of having "illegal" religious literature in his home in Urgench. In Bukhara, two Jehovah's Witnesses were jailed for ten days and, with 28 others, fined for "illegal" literature and worship meeting. [read more...]

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...]