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On 14 July Azerbaijan's Supreme Court is due to hear a challenge by Kamran Abdiyev to a fine of 18 months' average wages, for distributing religious literature which has not undergone the compulsory state censorship. "Kamran Abdiyev has no lawyer, and will be representing himself at the hearing," Judge Gulzar Rzayeva told Forum 18 News Service.
According to the article, the five Sunni Muslims are among eight prisoners of conscience being held at the National Security Ministry (NSM) secret police Investigation Prison in Baku to punish them for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief. Two of the other prisoners of conscience are Jehovah's Witnesses women and the eighth prisoner is a Shia Muslim. State censorship of religious texts is strictly applied and the Old Testament, the writings of Islamic theologian Said Nursi, and some Jehovah's Witness texts are on a police list of banned religious literature.
The article reads that in the latest extension of the powers of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, anyone organizing foreign travel for religious purposes, including pilgrimages abroad, now requires a license from the State Committee of Azerbaijan.
Continue reading: http://www.panorama.am/en/society/2015/05/28/azerbaijan-forum18/