20 April 2017

RUSSIA: Jehovah's Witnesses banned, property confiscated

Supreme Court declares Jehovah's Witness headquarters and local communities "extremist", bans all their activity immediately, and orders their property seized by state. Russia's estimated 170,000 Jehovah's Witnesses now risk criminal prosecution for "extremist activity" if they continue to meet for prayer or bible study. [read more...]

18 April 2017

KAZAKHSTAN: Islamic study in Saudi Arabia a crime?

Of five Kazakh Sunni Muslims facing criminal prosecution after studying their faith in Saudi Arabia, one has already been sentenced, two face imminent trial and two remain in pre-trial detention. The trial of Nariman Seytzhanov is due to begin in Kokshetau on 25 April. [read more...]

11 April 2017

KAZAKHSTAN: Eight Muslim prisoners of conscience sentenced

Kuanysh Bashpayev was jailed for four and a half years at a closed trial in Pavlodar for "inciting religious hatred" for speaking about Islam. Seven Muslims were jailed in South Kazakhstan for up to four years for alleged membership of Tabligh Jamaat missionary movement. [read more...]

7 April 2017

RUSSIA: Police harassment as Supreme Court considers ban

Russia's Supreme Court is due to resume considering a total ban on Jehovah's Witness activity on 12 April. Already police in several towns have disrupted their worship. A Moscow community's rental of a hall to mark their main annual commemoration was cancelled after an FSB visit. [read more...]

4 April 2017

RUSSIA: Trial for studying religious books begins

Eleven Muslims charged or on trial for meeting to study Turkish theologian Said Nursi's works face up to six years' imprisonment if convicted. The trial of three men began in Dagestan, while another continues in Blagoveshchensk. Two Jehovah's Witnesses also remain on criminal trial. [read more...]

3 April 2017

KAZAKHSTAN: Lawyers now face trial for defending client

The two lawyers for a Jehovah's Witness now on trial in Astana are themselves under criminal investigation. The KNB secret police investigator accuses them of "revealing information from a pre-trial investigation" by appealing to President Nazarbayev for the case against their client to be halted. [read more...]

30 March 2017

UZBEKISTAN: Police excuses for literature seizure raids

"Anti-terrorist measures", "pre-Novruz inspection", "passport regime inspection" and a hunt for an alleged fugitive drug dealer are excuses police gave to raid homes and seize religious literature. Police checking for "banned" sermons have not yet returned all computers seized from Muslim college students. [read more...]

28 March 2017

KAZAKHSTAN: Fined for praying "Amen" in mosque

The state is prosecuting and fining Muslims for saying the word "Amen" aloud in mosques, after November 2016 Muslim Board behaviour regulations were imposed. Also, moves have begun in one region for the state-backed Muslim Board to seize mosque building ownership. [read more...]