2017-05-02 15:31:00

Jehovah's Witnesses member receives 5-year prison term in Kazakhstan for inciting religious hatred

Astana, May 2, Interfax - Court No. 2 of Astana's Saryarka District has convicted Jehovah's Witnesses preacher Teimur Akhmedov of "inciting ethnic, social, religious, family and racial hatred in collusion with a group of other persons" and has sentenced him to five years in a medium-security penitentiary, the court's press service said.

The court also banned Akhmedov from performing any religious ideological and preaching activities for three years, it said.

According to the case files, in 2016 Akhmedov and his accomplice, Asaf Guliyev, "organized religious gatherings involving the capital's residents recently recruited into the community at different apartments in the city of Astana."

During such meetings, in the presence of their followers, the two men publicly spoke negatively about representatives of Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy and said that one religion was superior to another.

During a trial in February 2017, Guliyev pleaded guilty to all charges, publicly repented and, given the mitigating circumstances, was given a five-year prison term.