An Uzbek Christian was fined the equivalent of $300 in June without being told why, it has emerged.

A court hearing took place in Jurabek Vapayev’s absence and he was told later that he had been fined, but no reason was given.

He is preparing to appeal, but “the refusal to issue a written decision could deprive Vapayev of the possibility to lodge an appeal”, reports Forum 18.

Under Uzbek law, courts must provide a defendant with a copy of a decision within three days, after which the defendant has 10 days to lodge an appeal.

Vapayev’s home had been searched on 17 May, when police confiscated notebooks and his mobile phone. He was then taken to a police station, where he was questioned for eight hours and, according to fellow Protestants, beaten, deprived of food and water, refused access to a toilet and told that he must sign a statement prepared by the police. He refused.

One month later, he was fined.