Posted by: becketfund | June 22, 2007

Azerbaijan: Pastor Imprisoned on False Charges

Forum 18 reports that Zaur Balaev, a Baptist pastor imprisoned May 20 after police raided a church service in which he took part, continues to be held on false charges and in poor conditions. Authorities claim that Balaev set a dog on them when they raided his church, though church members claim this did not happen. The authorities insist the raid was justified as the church lacks government registration and is therefore illegal, though the community has attempted to register itself for the past thirteen years. Balaev is said to be in poor health and is expected to be charged with “resisting the authorities with violence”.

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