Protest rally in Nardaran village, November 26, 2015. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the 'Caucasian Knot'.

28 April 2017, 05:53

US Department of State reports deterioration of situation with religious freedom in Azerbaijan

Over the past year, in Azerbaijan, the situation with religious freedom has deteriorated. This conclusion was reached by authors of the annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) "2017. The situation with religious freedom in the world".

According to the study released on April 27, during the year, the Azerbaijani government increased its repression of independent religious activity, closing Sunni mosques, raiding religious bookshops, and harassing Jehovah’s Witnesses and certain Protestant communities.

"While Azerbaijan is at risk from international terrorism, that danger increasingly serves as a pretext in official efforts to suppress peaceful religious dissent," states the USCIRF's report.

According to the data of the USCIRF's working group, in Azerbaijan, at least 86 people were arrested for their religious beliefs, the report states.

The authors of the USCIRF's report draw conclusions to include Azerbaijan in the number of countries with serious violations of religious freedom.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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