On January 18, 2017, Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee arrested and imprisoned Teymur Akhmedov for talking to others about his religious beliefs. During May and June 2016, seven men invited Teymur to a rented apartment, claiming to be interested in the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They also met at Teymur’s home later in the year. Unbeknownst to Teymur, these seven “Bible students” covertly video recorded their conversations.

Based on these peaceful religious discussions, Teymur was charged with “inciting religious discord” and “advocating [religious] superiority.” He is in pretrial detention for 60 days, but he faces a 5- to 10-year prison term if found guilty.

Teymur, who is 60 years old, is married and has a serious medical condition. His attorneys expect that the appeal from the pretrial detention order will be heard during the week of January 23, 2017.