Source: World Watch Monitor, October 19, 2017
An Azerbaijani man fined for leading a “house church” without state permission has not been treated fairly during his appeal against the fine, a local source has told World Watch Monitor.
Shabanov was found guilty at a hearing in January and several appeals were rejected.
During his appeal process, the source said hearings had been held in the Azeri language, which Shabanov does not speak because he was educated in the Georgian language common to the area where he was born and where he still lives. The court also failed to provide a translator although this is required by law.
The source said the pastor was “asked repeatedly to sign documents he could neither read nor understand, both in the appeals process and police investigations, including a document that waived his rights. This is both illegal and negligent of the legal process in Azerbaijan.”