On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan rejected Teymur Akhmedov’s appeal of his unjust conviction for alleged illegal religious activity. In reality, he was merely sharing his personal religious beliefs with others. Mr. Akhmedov has been detained since the time of his arrest on January 18, 2017, involving a case of entrapment orchestrated by the secret police. He was convicted by a district court in May and sentenced to a five-year prison term, which was upheld by an appellate court on June 20, 2017.

In considering his appeal, the Supreme Court ignored the recent decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which found Kazakhstan guilty of unjustly detaining Mr. Akhmedov and violating his religious freedom. Despite his poor health, Mr. Akhmedov maintains his strong faith and full trust in God. Mr. Akhmedov is grateful for the efforts to obtain his early release, although thus far they have been unsuccessful, and he is thankful that his fellow believers worldwide continue to pray for his release.