NEWS IN OCTOBER 2019
The lawsuit against Leyla Ismayilzade, the wife of the theologian Tale Bagirzade, initiated on 27 September, was dismissed, lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev told to the agency Turan. According to him, on 3 October the investigator invited Ismayilzade and announced that the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
The case was filed by the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Justice under Article 317-1.1 (bringing to the places of detention of prohibited items) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic. According to the version of the Penitentiary Service, the fact took place on 21 March, when a smartphone was found in the things of Leyla Ismayilzade, who came to meet her husband in Gobustan prison.
Then the woman explained that the smartphone belongs to her son, who came with her and the child watches cartoons on him. The phone was not carried inside the prison, however, after five months, the Ministry of Justice suddenly decided to files a lawsuit, and also suddenly closed it.
The State Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic on Work with Religious Organizations (SCWRO) has released statistics on religious communities that were registered in the country. for the first 9 months of 2019. According to SCWRO, within first 9 months of 2019 were registered 34 religious communities.
From a confessional point of view, 31 of them are Islamic and 3 are non-Islamic.
Altogether, after the process of state registration of religious communities on 1 September 2009, 942 religious communities were registered in Azerbaijan. From a confessional point of view, 907 of which are Islamic, and 35 represent other confessions, including 24 Christian, 8 Jewish, 2 Baha’i, and 1 Krishnaite.
Since the beginning of the process of state registration of religious educational institutions (colleges) in 2017, 10 religious educational institutions have been registered.
Also, today in Azerbaijan there are 2.250 mosques, 136 of which are located in Baku. In addition, there are 14 churches and 7 synagogues in the country, as well as 748 sanctuaries and places of worship, 25 of those are in the Baku-Absheron region.
According to the Trend Agency, the SCWRO deputy chairman, Siyavush Heydarov, made a statement that more than 400 citizens of Azerbaijan who joined the radical groups since 2011 have been deprived of their citizenship. He added that these individuals are no longer able to return to Azerbaijan.
“Over 110 individuals have been brought to justice. The competent authorities are working to identify and bring to the country other people who had been associated with these groups. It is estimated that more than 1.000 people have joined these groups so far. More than 300 of them have been reported dead. But the others have taken refuge in foreign countries. Furthermore, women and children are being held in Syrian and Iraqi camps. The work is underway to bring them back to the country, and some of them have already been transferred,” Heydarov said.
Furthermore, S. Heydarov noted that there are also measures taken for identification and returning the homeless children to the country, “There are children from the different regions of Azerbaijan, their identities are being determined. However, there is such a complicated moment as identifying these kids’ parents. Some women, especially the ones who lost their husbands, left Azerbaijan and gave births to the children who had been conceived from citizens of other countries. It is also necessary to define the issue of their citizenship. There are also those who had been brought to the criminal charges. But at the moment, the serious steps are taken towards the identification and transferring those children who had been deprived of parental care back to the country”. According to his words, there have been no cases of individuals from Azerbaijan who joined the radical groups for the last two years, on the contrary, there has recently been an outflow from these groups.
Further, the SCWRO deputy chairman noted that in 2019, there were no hidden activities or any cases of illegal activity of religious communities in Azerbaijan. He emphasized, “The activity of religious communities is quite seriously controlled. There are no more Sects in Azerbaijan, which used to walk around from one apartment to another, attracting people to some religious movements. Previously, the main discontent of the State Committee was related to non-Islamic religious movements. By splitting into certain sects, they had been violating the law. These sects used to be the tools in the hands of those who did not like Azerbaijan”.