25 May 2018

RUSSIA: 28 new raids, now 20 criminal investigations

Officers launched 28 raids on Jehovah's Witness homes in May, often forcing entry, threatening occupants with weapons and seizing literature and other items. Under criminal investigation are 7 Jehovah's Witnesses in pre-trial detention, 1 under house arrest and at least 11 under travel restrictions. Two others are already on trial. [read more...]

24 May 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Criminal prosecution follows Easter worship meeting?

Police raided and threatened Urgench Baptists with criminal prosecution for meeting at Easter. SSS secret police and ordinary police raided Mubarek Baptists' worship, an illegal court fining two. In Karshi police targeted hearing and speech impaired Baptists. A Samarkand Jehovah's Witness was fined when enquiring about state registration. [read more...]

22 May 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: 40 months, 65 criminal convictions

Three Muslims who drank tea, prayed and discussed their faith have failed to overturn their three-year jail terms on appeal. The men's bank accounts are likely now to be blocked and they owe a large sum in court fees. Their jailing means 65 alleged Tabligh Jamaat members have been convicted since 2015. [read more...]

18 May 2018

KAZAKHSTAN: Why were prisoner's conditions made harsher?

After prisoner of conscience Imam Abdukhalil Abduzhabbarov's transfer to a harsher prison he is held in solitary confinement with one short daily exercise period, and can have only two two-hour meetings with relatives a year. He is only occasionally allowed to read the Koran. [read more...]

16 May 2018

RUSSIA: Will Constitutional Court reduce "anti-missionary" prosecutions?

Lawyers have cautiously welcomed a March Constitutional Court ruling, hoping it will reduce "missionary activity" prosecutions. However, the first case seeking compensation for an unjustified "missionary activity" prosecution failed. Glorification Pentecostal Church's case against Krasnoyarsk Regional Prosecutor's Office and Russia's General Prosecutor was rejected. [read more...]

14 May 2018

AZERBAIJAN: Theologian challenges state's book ban

Muslim theologian Elshad Miri is challenging in court the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations decision to ban one of his books on theological grounds. The Committee operates the prior compulsory censorship of all religious materials. A court fined another bookshop owner for selling religious literature without permission. [read more...]

10 May 2018

AZERBAIJAN: Raids on mosques, jailings, fines

Secret police, police and religious affairs officials raided and closed another "illegal" mosque in Baku, complaining that young people "were involved in religious ceremonies". The secret police are investigating the owner. A Sheki court issued four one-month jailings and fines for protests against a plan to turn a mosque into a museum. [read more...]

1 May 2018

UZBEKISTAN: Torture and death threats unpunished

Police officer Ravshan Sobirov, who tortured Jehovah's Witness Anvar Tajiyev and made death threats against him, has not been brought to justice as Uzbekistan's international human rights obligations require. Tajiyev lost hearing in one ear and still suffers headaches. Many complaints to the President, national and local Prosecutor's Offices have led to no arrests or prosecutions. [read more...]