Posted by: becketfund | February 24, 2009

Azerbaijan: Both Imported and Exported Literature Now Censored

BAKU – Azerbaijan’s compulsory censorship of all religious literature has started to affect the export of such materials, Forum 18 reported on February 24. In early January, Azerbaijani customs authorities confiscated religious literature from Azerbaijani citizens leaving the country. Zenchenko, head of the Baptist Union, told Forum 18 that on 4 January, two Baptists were on their way to visit fellow Baptists in Azeri-speaking villages in eastern Georgia. When they crossed the land border to Georgia at the Mazimchai crossing point, Azerbaijani customs officers seized Azeri-language Bibles and computer discs with Christian material from the two Baptists. No mention is made in Azerbaijan’s laws–such as the Religion Law, or the Regulations of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations–regarding censorship of religious literature taken out of the country. Forum 18 was told on February 20 by an official of the Passenger Department at Baku Customs, that customs regulations do not discuss the matter of censorship of literary exports.

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