14 February 2019

KAZAKHSTAN: Three years' jail, five years' religion ban

A Balkhash court jailed Abilai Bokbasarov for three years to punish him for meetings about Islam. It also banned him from exercising freedom of religion for five years after his term, the equal longest such ban. A judge refused to explain what he will be banned from doing. [read more...]

11 February 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Imam forced to flee after freedom appeal

Imam Fazliddin Parpiyev fled Uzbekistan "for my safety" after appealing to President Mirziyoyev "as Muslims .. cannot have full freedom of religion and belief". Muslims are blacklisted for memorising the Koran for a state-run competition, and imams are rotated to stop them influencing congregations. [read more...]

6 February 2019

RUSSIA: "6-year jail sentence for believing in God"

After 74 hearings over one year, an Oryol court jailed Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen for six years for organising a "banned extremist organisation", the first Jehovah's Witness in post-Soviet Russia sentenced to imprisonment. "We will continue to fight for justice through the courts," his wife Irina told Forum 18. [read more...]

5 February 2019

TURKMENISTAN: 24 hours in airport, travel ban for Korans

Security personnel at Ashgabad Airport detained a woman working in Turkey bringing in Arabic Korans as gifts for relatives, questioning her for 24 hours. She was later banned from leaving Turkmenistan. Police are again forcibly shaving men under 40 with beards. Officers forced one victim to drink alcohol. [read more...]

1 February 2019

KAZAKHSTAN: 165 administrative prosecutions in 2018 - list

Full list of 165 known administrative prosecutions in 2018 to punish exercising freedom of religion or belief. Of these, 139 ended up with punishments, including fines, worship bans, seizures and destruction of religious literature, short-term jail terms and one deportation. [read more...]

31 January 2019

KAZAKHSTAN: 165 known administrative prosecutions in 2018

In 165 known administrative prosecutions in 2018, 139 individuals, religious communities, charities and companies were punished for worship meetings, offering religious literature and pictures (including online), sharing or teaching faith, posting material online, praying in mosques, allowing a parent to bring a child to meetings, or inadequate security measures. [read more...]

30 January 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Fined for giving New Testament away

Police searched a woman's flat in Bukhara to seize a New Testament Shukhrat Safarov had given her. A court fined Safarov and ordered the book destroyed. The government's Religious Affairs Committee claimed that using the New Testament for "missionary purposes" is illegal. [read more...]

29 January 2019

UZBEKISTAN: "Investigations" don't stop police illegal actions

In Urgench and Namangan Region, Protestant Christians complained about police raids and house searches without warrants, as well as police pressure on individuals to sign fabricated statements. "Investigations" in both places found no police wrongdoing. Instead, church members face possible punitive measures. [read more...]