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APRIL 12, 2016

Azerbaijan Police Disrupt Commemoration of Christ’s Death

On March 23, 2016, police officers in Gakh abruptly stopped the observance of the Memorial of Christ’s death—the most sacred religious event of the year for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The event was being held in a private home. Police officers showed what purported to be a court order authorizing their search, and they confiscated personal copies of religious publications, including Bibles. Officers then took all the attendees to the local police station, interrogated them, and ordered them to write statements. All attendees were released after police drew up protocols on six male Witnesses, which could lead to charges under the Administrative Violations Code.