MAY 19, 2015
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of National Security (MNS) has extended the pretrial detention of two of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Irina Zakharchenko and Valida Jabrayilova. On February 17, 2015, the MNS pressed the criminal charge of distributing Bible literature without “appropriate permission” and jailed the women. On May 7, 2015, the Sabail District Court agreed to detain them until July 17. The court has dismissed motions to replace the detention with house arrest. Attorneys representing the Witnesses have filed appeals against the unjust imprisonment and have expressed concern for the mental, emotional, and physical health of the women. Authorities continue to investigate other Witnesses.