Azerbaijan restricts freedom of religion and belief with interlinked freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. Forum 18’s survey analyzes violations including prisoners of conscience who were jailed and tortured for exercising freedom of religion and belief, strict state literature censorship, and regime claims of its “tolerance.” Forum 18's survey analysis documents Azerbaijan's violations of freedom of religion and belief, with interlinked freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. Serious violations include but are not limited to:
- a complex labyrinth of “legal” restrictions to prevent the exercise of freedom of religion, belief, and other fundamental freedoms;
-total state control of the Islamic community;
- a ban on all exercise of freedom of religion and belief by groups of people without state permission;
- raids on people exercising freedom of religion and belief without state permission;
- forcible closure of places of worship, especially Sunni mosques;
- a ban on praying outside mosques;
- jailing prisoners of conscience for exercising human rights, including freedom of religion and belief;
- torture of people who exercise freedom of religion and belief;
- prosecutions and punishments of conscientious objectors to the compulsory military service;
- a highly restrictive censorship regime, including pre-publication, bookshop, photocopy shop and postal censorship;
- and severe denials of human rights in the Nakhichevan exclave.
Corley, Felix and Kinahan, John
"Azerbaijan: Religious Freedom Survey, 2018,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 39
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol39/iss1/5