Date: April 21, 2015
KAZAKHSTAN (ANS. APRIL 20, 2015) -- A Baptist, Nikolai Novikov, could face up to three years in jail for refusing to pay a 2013 fine for offering religious literature on the streets which has not been censored by the state.
Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, northwest of China, with a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in eastern-most Europe.
According to a story by Felix Corley for the Forum 18 News Service, Novikov has refused to pay that and other fines, saying they are unjust.
Prosecutor Aydin Rashidov has repeatedly claimed that as Novikov’s crime was of what he described as “middling seriousness,” if convicted Novikov would not be imprisoned.
However, Forum 18 reported, Rashidov stated that he would have to live under restrictions - such as being subject to a curfew every night at his house - for up to three years. Novikov has pointed out that the prosecution is illegal under Kazakhstan's law.
Meanwhile, administrative prosecutions to punish individuals for commercially distributing Muslim religious materials without state approval continue.
Forum 18 said apparently for the first time, the General Prosecutor’s Office has published a list of religious and other texts deemed extremist, and whose production, import or distribution is banned.
For more information visit www.forum18.org