24 October 2016

RUSSIA: Many meetings raided and evidence planted

Raids on Jehovah's Witness premises now take place more than three times per month. These raids on doctrinally pacifist religious communities often involve many heavily armed and camouflaged officials, with the "discovery" of apparently planted banned "extremist" literature. Legal dissolution of communities can follow. [read more...]

21 October 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: Judges' religious freedom to be restricted?

The draft Code of Judges' Ethics – likely to be adopted at a 24 November congress - proposes wide-ranging bans on exercising freedom of religion outside the professional setting. Judges "shouldn't be very active in their religious conduct", says the Union of Judges secretary. [read more...]

20 October 2016

KYRGYZSTAN: Mobs twice exhume body – with impunity?

Mobs in two villages dug up the body of deceased Protestant Kanygul Satybaldiyeva, insisting non-Muslims cannot be buried in village cemeteries. Police, secret police and officials observed the exhumations but did not stop them. Officials took Satybaldiyeva's body and claim to have buried it elsewhere. [read more...]

17 October 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: Criminal case, fines, warnings, imprisonments for uncensored literature

Founder of Muslim WhatsApp group escapes criminal prosecution, but is fined for distributing uncensored religious literature. Baptists are fined for offering literature on the streets, while parents of one girl who did so are warned and father fined. The OSCE calls for end to religious censorship. [read more...]

13 October 2016

TURKEY: Freedom of belief and security threats

Turkey's failed coup attempt, ongoing and new security threats and government actions have long-term implications for the rule of law with the freedoms of religion and belief, assembly, association and expression. Immediate measures are necessary to protect religious or belief communities directly affected by conflict and terror. [read more...]

10 October 2016

KAZAKHSTAN: Ten more Sunni Muslims sentenced

Sunni Muslim Baurzhan Beisembai was sentenced in Oskemen to two and a half years' imprisonment for alleged membership of Tabligh Jamaat missionary movement. Six others were imprisoned and two given restricted freedom. A further imprisonment in Aktobe means 41 such convictions since December 2014. [read more...]

6 October 2016

AZERBAIJAN: 34 fines for "illegal" religious meeting

34 attendees at an "illegal" home meeting for worship on the most sacred annual observance for Jehovah's Witnesses were fined nearly a year's official minimum wage. The leader of a Sunni mosque in Baku forcibly closed in July has failed to overturn his fine. [read more...]

4 October 2016

UZBEKISTAN: Contradictory "expert analyses", four people fined

Uzbekistan arrested four men, confiscating a book a government "expert analysis" stated was permitted. Adventist Pastor Andrei Ten was later shown a second "expert analysis" banning the book and fined 100 times the minimum monthly wage, the other three being each fined smaller amounts. [read more...]