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jueves, 15 de diciembre de 2011

Azerbaijan: Massive fines and warnings for meeting for worship

Expuesto el: Miércoles, 14 de Diciembre de 2011 16:59

Six Jehovah's Witnesses in Azerbaijan's second city Gyanja have been given heavy fines for meeting for worship without the compulsory state registration, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Only one of the fines was reduced at Gyanja Appeal Court today (14 December), leaving the total of the fines at 9,500 Manats (72,330 Norwegian Kroner, 9,300 Euros, or 12,090 US Dollars). This was described to Forum 18 as a "massive sum" by local standards. One of those fined, Rashad Niftaliev, has within a twelve-month period now been fined a total of 3,650 Manats for exercising his freedom of religion or belief. Meanwhile, in Absheron Region near the capital Baku, two Muslims were given official warnings for similarly meeting to discuss their faith in a private home without state registration. Responding to criticism of its restrictions on the exercise of freedom of religion or belief by Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Azerbaijan has claimed that "the Government supports all efforts to protect religious freedoms in the country and all over the world".


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