A Baptist Christian and former mission leader arrested on Sunday, November 28 in Tashkent was still being subjected to lengthy police interrogations in the Uzbek capital yesterday. Nikolai Andreus is being threatened with a two-year prison term, Christian sources in the Central Asian state report.

Andreus was detained as he was traveling by bus to a Sunday morning worship service. A police lieutenant on the bus demanded to see his identity documents and then searched Andreus' bag, uncovering some 200 Christian tracts in the Uzbek language.

The officer then halted the bus near the Khamzin district police station, just two stops from Andreus' home. The Christian was interrogated by an officer named Karimov, deputy head of the police station, who reportedly threatened and tried to intimidate Andreus, accusing him of "anti-state activities."

Two hours later, police officers conducted a search of Andreus' home in the presence of the required four witnesses, but without authorization from the procurator, sources told Compass. The officials confiscated all the Christian literature they found.

During the search, Andreus' daughter Nataliya asked the police officers what would happen to her father. The most senior policeman told her he faces a two-year prison term.

Andreus was later transferred to the criminal department of the police, where he was again interrogated. He was asked where he had obtained the literature, where he was taking it, who it was for and why. The interrogators tried to force him to admit he was guilty of anti-state activity, missionary activity (which is illegal in Uzbekistan) and the distribution of anti-Islamic propaganda.

Andreus insisted that the books had been imported from Russia two years ago, before restrictions ...

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