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Azerbaijani Students Protest Decision To Close Mosque

BAKU -- Student activists in Baku prayed on May 22 in a mosque at Baku State University to express solidarity with the imam of the mosque, which faces closure by authorities, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The mosque's imam was warned on May 19 by Baku police that the mosque should end its activities by May 22.

Azerbaijani authorities have demolished two mosques and closed down one other in the past several weeks.

Azerbaijani officials say there are some 1,750 mosques in Azerbaijan, of which 500 have been officially registered.

Yagut Aliyeva, spokeswoman for the State Religious Affairs Committee, told RFE/RL that the mosque should register with officials if it wants to avoid being shut down.

She said all unregistered mosques in the country face closure.