|code: 272831||Date: 2011/10/19 - 00:00||source: IRIB|
Pro-Hijab Shia Activists Arrested in Azerbaijan
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Amid continued protests in Azerbaijan over the government ban on hijab in schools, a state court in Baku has sentenced four pro-Islamic Hijab activists to prison.
The Baku City Narimanov District Court sentenced four Islamist Hijab advocates to prison terms, which brings the number of activists arrested in 2011 to 35.
On October 8, Baku's Court for Serious Crimes handed heavy jail sentences to the Head of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (AIP) Movsum Samadov and six other members of the organization after charging them with subversion.
The Azeri party members were detained in January after protesting against the government-imposed ban on Hijab in the country's secondary and high schools.
Hundreds of people have joined protests against the state-sponsored prohibition of wearing headscarves in schools since Azeri Education Minister Misir Mardanov announced the controversial ban in December 2010.
Around 98 percent of Azerbaijan's nearly nine million population is Muslim. The government under President Ilham Aliyev is strictly secular and has close relations with the West.
A ban on Islamic dress code is not included in Azerbaijan's constitution.