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RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special Bimonthly FORB digest (01-15.12.2021)

14.12.2021 – The court in Tatarstan partially bans the interpretation of the Koran by al-Saadi and the collections of hadiths

Link to full text (only in Russian : https://credo.press/240127/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The Laishevsky District Court of the Republic of Tatarstan announced on December 9 a decision on the administrative claim of the Privolzhsky Transport Prosecutor on the recognition of six Islamic religious books as extremist materials. According to the lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev, the claim was partially satisfied.

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12.12.2021 – Zelenogorsk Court Hears Jehovah’s Witness Case

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.sova-center.ru/religion/news/extremism/counter-extremism/2021/12/d45414/

On December 6, 2021, the Zelenogorsk City Court of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, instead of announcing the verdict to Jehovah’s Witness Alexander Kabanov, accused under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist organization), decided to return the case to the stage of judicial investigation. Judging by the information on the court’s website, Kabanov was also charged under Art. 322.2 of the Criminal Code (fictitious registration at the place of residence or stay).

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09.12.2021 – A Court in Cherkessk sentenced Albert Batchaev to 6 years suspended for his faith in Jehovah God

Link to full text in Russian : https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/12/061551.html

On December 6, 2021, Rustam Ataev, judge of the Cherkessk City Court of Karachay-Cherkessia, found Albert Batchaev guilty of extremism – organizing “the performance of songs from a special collection of religious teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and prayers to Jehovah God” and sentenced him to 6 years suspended.

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09.12.2021 – In Volgograd, a follower of Tablighi Jamaat was sentenced to a real term

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.sova-center.ru/religion/news/extremism/counter-extremism/2021/12/d45420/

On December 2, 2021, the Sovetsky District Court of Volgograd sentenced 51-year-old local resident Mikhail Kolotilin, who was accused of involvement in the Tablighi Jamaat movement banned in Russia. He was found guilty of organizing the activities of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a general regime colony.

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08.12.2021 – Russia proposes to declare Friday a day off for Muslims

Link to full text in Russian: https://ria.ru/20211208/musulmane-1762696060.html

Muslims are in favor of introducing a day off on Friday, but such decisions need to be discussed with the public, Mufti Albir Krganov, chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia (DSMR) , told RIA Novosti . Earlier, the Emirati news agency WAM reported that the United Arab Emirates became the first Muslim country to refuse a Friday day off.

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8.12.2021 – Searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place in Taganrog. A believer was detained, the measure of restraint is being chosen

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/12/081555.html

Early in the morning on December 7, 2021, in the port city of Taganrog, searches were carried out in at least 8 houses of citizens who, according to law enforcement officers, are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Detained Aleksandr Skvortsov is being prosecuted for his faith again: he was convicted in the high-profile “Case of 16”.

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07.12.2021 – RUSSIA: Jailed, awaiting appeal, deported, post-prison restrictions – list

Of those given jail sentences on “extremism” charges for exercising freedom of religion or belief, 20 are serving jail terms, 12 are awaiting appeal, two have been deported after completing prison terms and 16 are under the restrictions and supervision that last many years after a prison term is completed. Two who have completed their jail terms have left Russia and are therefore no longer subject to the post-prison restrictions.

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07.12.2021 – Rostov Regional Court approved six to six and half years in prison for three of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have already served half of their sentence in pre-trial detention

Link to full text in Russian : https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/12/071458.html

On December 6, 2021 the Rostov Regional Court examined the appeal of 69-year-old Vilen Avanessov and his son, Arsen, as well as 54-year-old Aleksandr Parkov. They are all residents of Rostov-on-Don. The panel of judges headed by Gennadiy Peschanov left the sentence of the first instance unchanged: Parkov and Arsen Avanesov were sentenced to 6.5 years of real imprisonment and Vilen Avanesov – to 6.

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06.12.2021 – At least six searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place in the Stavropol Territory. A criminal case was brought against an 82-year-old visually impaired woman

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/12/061134.html

On November 26, 2021 searches were conducted in the resort town of Zheleznovodsk. Officers from the FSB and the Center for Counteracting Extremism entered the homes of what they believe to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. A criminal case was initiated against Zinaida Minenko, 82, and she had to sign not to leave agreement.

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04.12.2021 – Appeal Court in Birobidzhan upholds the verdict for faith of Anastasiya Guzeva

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/12/021550.html

On December 2, 2021, the Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, composed of the presiding judge I. P. Zhurova, as well as judges A. V. Sizova and V. G. Shabanov, upheld the sentence of Anastasia Guzeva — 2.5 years suspended for reading the Bible and talking on religious topics.

The believer still insists on her innocence and has the right to appeal against the verdict in cassation procedure, as well as in international instances.

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03.12.2021 – Russia acts against evangelical movement with international ties

Link to full text only in Russian: https://cutt.ly/bYVCWYC

In Ramenskoe near Moscow police arrived at a conference of pastors of “New Generation”* protestant churches and arrested up to 200 persons. This was reported by Pastor Albert Ratkin in a video on YouTube.

The conference began on 1 December. It involved registered and unregistered religious organizations. According to Ratkin it assembled around 200 persons.

He described how in the evening of 2 December, OMON troops with automatic weapons stormed the conference and arrested all of the participants.

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02.12.2021 – Victoria Verkhoturova, a nurse from Nizhny Novgorod, was sentenced to 4 years probation for her faith in Jehovah

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/301426.html

On November 29, 2021, Viktor Yakovlev, judge of the Prioksky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod, sentenced 45-year-old Victoria Verkhoturova for allegedly participating in the activities of a banned organization.

The verdict has not entered into force and can be appealed. The believer insists on her complete innocence. Although there is not a single victim in the case, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence the woman to 4.5 years in a general regime colony.

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