19 December 2018

TAJIKISTAN: Killed prisoners denied Muslim funerals

Around 50 prisoners killed in suppressing a Khujand Labour Camp riot were denied religious funerals. Officials banned washing of bodies or any Islamic prayers. Sugd Police Deputy Head claimed statements that families were not allowed to bury their dead according to Muslim rites were untrue. "Whoever says that is lying!" [read more...]

18 December 2018

TAJIKISTAN: Arrest not pardon follows "repentance"

Secret police arrested Mukhtadi Abdulkodyrov for being a Salafi Muslim, two days after his return to Tajikistan from Saudi Arabia. He had written a letter of "repentance". Police opened a criminal case against Jehovah's Witness Mujibahon Isanova for complaining about a teacher's bullying of her eight-year-old son. [read more...]

12 December 2018

BELARUS: Fined for singing, offering religious literature

Police stopped a Baptist husband and wife from singing and offering Christian literature outside Lepel's market. "We were detained like criminals and brought to the police station," Andrei Fokin complained. A court fined the couple one month's average wages each. Bailiffs are seeking to confiscate property and ban him from driving. [read more...]

11 December 2018

BELARUS: Order not to register new religious communities?

"We want to comply with the law and gather for religious meetings without fear of raids, fines or detentions," says Pastor Vyacheslav Novakovsky of Your Will Be Done Church. A Minsk official involved in the four registration rejections since 2017 told him of "an order from superiors not to register any new communities". She refused to explain this to Forum 18. [read more...]

7 December 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: Second long jailing for online Islamic talks

A court jailed 28-year-old father of one Dadash Mazhenov for over seven years for posting Islamic talks online, the second jailing by the same court. The secret police claimed the talks promoted terrorism, which both men reject. The judge sought to have Mazhenov's lawyer punished for "correctly defending the interests of his client". [read more...]

5 December 2018

UZBEKISTAN: "Illegal Christian Wahhabi activity"

Police raided Protestants enjoying a meal, searching the home without a warrant, confiscating a New Testament. Officials tried to pressure one guest to accuse the host and the pastor of holding "unauthorised religious meetings", threatening to take her two children and ordering her mother-in-law to beat her. [read more...]

29 November 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Military raids Baptists, Church ordered closed

For the first time Uzbekistan's military has raided Tashkent Baptists meeting for worship. Asked why the military were involved, officials said "it is a special operation". Police threatened Baptists they "will come every Sunday and disrupt the Church service every time until we give up and stop our activity". [read more...]

28 November 2018

CRIMEA: Up to 10 years' jail for Muslims, Jehovah's Witness?

In "extremism" criminal cases opened by Russia's FSB in occupied Crimea, four Muslims face imminent trial, while Jehovah's Witness Sergei Filatov is under investigation. They face up to 10 years' jail. The Muslims "simply gathered in the local mosque to discuss religious questions", a lawyer stated. "We simply ask the authorities to respect our rights to meet together and read the Bible," Filatov told Forum 18. [read more...]