ISTANBUL, November 5 (Compass)—Azerbaijani authorities have yet to implement a judicial ultimatum issued on October 15 ordering the deportation of eight foreign Christians for attending a worship service at one of Baku's legally registered churches.
As of today, the eight Christians from Norway, Finland, Korea, Iran, Colombia and Mexico remain in the capital city, despite lapsed deadlines for the ouster of at least two of them.
"Written orders to implement an official deportation take time to filter through the court system," a source in Baku commented. So far only three of the eight Christians slated for deportation have been summoned to the local city court nearest their Baku place of residence to be served deadline notices, the source said.
From the wording of these first three notices, "It was clear that the courts are acting at KBN (formerly KGB) direction," a contact who had seen the documents told Compass. "The decision was not really in their hands."
Meanwhile, at least one of the eight has been granted a one-week extension by local authorities, and another was notified that a previous visa application had been approved.
The latest ultimatum from the prosecutor general's office upheld a ruling from Baku's Narimanov District Court on September 7, two days after police and KNB officers forcibly interrupted Sunday services at the Baku Baptist Church and arrested 60 members of the congregation.
In the original ruling, Judge O.A. Mamedov ordered the eight expatriate Christians to be "fined and expelled" from the country for breaking the law by "organizing religious meetings, spreading illegal propaganda" and "propagating against the Islamic religion." The two Azeri Christians leading the service were jailed for 15 days of administrative ...1
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