Friday, July 7, 2017

Azerbaijan: Several religious practitioners fined for home religious meetings, picnic

Azerbaijani law bans and imposes punishments for religious meetings without state permission, including such meetings in homes.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Forum 18 News
By Felix Corley | July 6, 2017

A Muslim was fined for reading religious books aloud at a picnic.

More than 20 Muslims, fined three months' average wages for a religious meeting in a home in Quba, failed in their appeals. A Baptist Pastor similarly fined will appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Sumgait Appeal Court has rejected appeals by more than 20 Muslims from the north-eastern Quba District fined more than three months' average wages for a religious meeting in a home in March which was raided by police.

In two separate cases at Sheki Appeal Court, a Sunni Muslim and a Baptist Pastor have failed to overturn similar fines imposed to punish them for holding religious meetings with others. The Baptist Pastor is preparing to challenge his punishment in Azerbaijan's Constitutional Court.

Azerbaijani law bans and imposes punishments for religious meetings without state permission, including such meetings in homes.

On various dates in April and May, Sumgait [Sumqayit] Appeal Court upheld fines of 1,500 Manats on many of the 21 Muslims from Quba District punished for taking part in a religious meeting in a home raided by police.


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