Forum 18 reports that on December 12, Azerbaijan's president signed into law amendments to the country's Criminal Code and Administrative Code that increase the penalties for violation of various religious censorship laws and add new restrictions on religious practices. Distributing religious literature that has not been cleared by the state is now punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to the equivalent of $8900 (US). Distribution of religious literature by foreigners has now been outlawed, as has sending citizens abroad to study religion without permission of the state. A new provision in the Administrative Code prohibits citizens who have gained their religious education outside of Azerbaijan from carrying out religious rituals and ceremonies of Islam. Numerous other changes are included in the new amendments as well. These changes are the 14th set of amendments to the religion laws in Azerbaijan since 2001.