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Pending Amendments in Azerbaijan Concern USCIRF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is concerned that Azerbaijan"s President Ilham Aliev will sign into law a series of restrictive amendments negatively affecting religious freedom. Amendments to the religion law, as well as the criminal and administrative offenses codes, were passed by Azerbaijan"s parliament in speed and secrecy on May 8. Reportedly, they contain numerous provisions that may violate Azerbaijan"s international legal commitments on freedom of religion or belief.

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