Posted by: becketfund | August 9, 2007

Azerbaijan: Baptist Pastor Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

Forum 18 reports that Zaur Balaev, a Baptist pastor from the town of Aliabad, in northern Azerbaijan, has received a sentence of two years in prison for “using violence against a state representative” and “holding illegal meetings under the guise of religious activity”. Witnesses for the prosecution claim they were pressured into testifying by the police and had no firsthand knowledge of the crimes Balaev was accused of. Balaev, who has been in detention since police raided a May 20th worship service in which he was taking part, is said to have been beaten while in prison and suffered two heart attacks. Please read the entire Forum 18 post for full details.

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