Azerbaijan: ‘no fair trial’ for house-church leader appealing against fine

Hamid Shabanov in 2007. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Azerbaijani man fined for leading a “house church” without state permission has not been treated fairly during his appeal against the fine, a local source has told World Watch Monitor. The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, said there have been “multiple violations of law and process” against Hamid . . . Read More

Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games

Silence on human rights ‘deafening’ as Turkmenistan hosts Asian Games
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) – and by virtue so too the International Olympic Committee – has come under fierce criticism for allowing Turkmenistan to stage the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, beginning this Sunday (17 September) in Ashgabat, while making “no visible efforts to urge the . . . Read More

Azerbaijan: Baptist pastor challenges state over constitutional right to worship

Hamid Shabanov in 2007. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Baptist pastor who has led a “house church” in Azerbaijan for 25 years is to challenge his latest “offence”, citing the country’s constitutional rights, reports Forum 18. Hamid Shabanov, and another church member, Mehman Agamammadov, were each given the minimum fine of 1,500 manats (900 US dollars) for leading . . . Read More

Central Asia in the spotlight as Azerbaijan hosts European Games

Central Asia in the spotlight as Azerbaijan hosts European Games
In a somewhat geographically and culturally challenging development, the first ever European Games begins today (13 June) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is more usually identified as a Central Asian country, but the European Union considers it to be in what it calls its “European Neighbourhood” – what others . . . Read More