26 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 08/01/2008
Police use false evidence to arrest Baptist pastor
The claim is made by Pastor Shabanov's lawyer. There is no evidence in the case, but the pastor is in jail awaiting new investigations. Meanwhile, the local authorities refuse to register the local Baptist group.

Baku (AsiaNews/F18) - Baptist pastor Hamid Shabanov remains in jail, after the court of Zagatala (northwestern Azerbaijan) asked the prosecutor for "further investigation" on July 29. Meanwhile, the authorities refuse to register the group.

Mirman Aliev, Shabanov's lawyer, calls it a "partial victory". "We called for Shabanov to be acquitted, for an end to the criminal case and for him to be freed. But the judge was afraid to do so and instead sent the case back for further investigation", with a deadline of August 23. He explains that there is no real evidence, and that his client is on trial "only because he is Christian", and that the trial has been full of irregularities, like reference to statements by unidentified witnesses.

Ilya Zenchenko, head of the country's Baptist Union, who came together with the lawyer for the trial from Baku, 450 kilometers away, agrees that "there is still much struggle ahead to free Hamid". He explains that the deputy chief of the local police, Kamandar Hasanov, after the decision by the court, took him to the police station for a long interrogation, accusing him of being "an English spy who acts only for money", and warning him "not to return to the area and not to help the local Baptists". Hasanov has for some time persecuted the Baptists in the area, and on March 19, when he had to release the pastor Zaur Balaev (in the photo), he threatened him with new charges if he continues to care for his faithful.

Shabanov was arrested on June 20 for "firearms possession", which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. But his relatives and congregation insists that the pistol and ammunition are not Shabanov's, but - Aliev insists - were "planted" by the police. Shabanov is a leader of the Baptist community of Aliabad, where the police confiscate religious books and refuse to give birth certificates to children with Christian names. Shabanov has also had copies of the Bible in Azeri and Georgian confiscated, but responds that the text has been approved by the appropriate state commission.

The local Baptist community has asked the state for official recognition, but on July 22 the notary Najiba Mamedova refused to accept the necessary documents. The police intervened, accusing the Baptists of creating a disturbance and taking a number of them to jail.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/16/2009 CHINA
Beijing does not recognize domestic churches, and persecutes them
11/05/2010 AZERBAIJAN
Baptist Christians in prison for having gathered to pray
07/05/2004 AZERBAIJAN
Government Shuts down Djuma Mosque Now Slated to Be a Carpet Museum
10/29/2009 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: a long list of injustices (An overview)
After jail, Christians pray for Saudi king Abdallah
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.