Azerbaijan’s Baptist prisoner of conscience Hamid Shabanov has been ordered – in a closed hearing he and his defence lawyer were not informed of – to be detained for another two months, reports Forum 18 News Service.
“The judge called the latest hearing without even informing Hamid’s lawyer,” Ilya Zenchenko of the Baptist Union told Forum 18. “This was a clear violation.” The defence’s request that Shabanov be freed pending possible trial was rejected.
However, Baptists have welcomed his transfer to Balakan District, in north-western Azerbaijan, which is next to Pastor Shabanov’s home Zakatala District.
Difficulties continue for religious communities, a Baku Protestant church, Cathedral of Praise, having had its place of worship confiscated.
Report from the Christian Telegraph