RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief: special bimonthly digest

31.08.21 – After a complaint of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the ECHR, two seriously ill residents of Kurgan were released from custody
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On August 28, 2021, after a request from the European Court of Human Rights and human rights defenders, as well as a medical examination, the court released Alexander Lubin and Anatoly Isakov from the pre-trial detention center. For about 1.5 months, believers with disabilities were kept in conditions of torture that threaten their lives.
30.08.21 – Republic of Tuva: consecration of an Orthodox church-yurt 
Archbishop Feofan (Kim) of Korea presided over the ceremony. It is the second mobile tent of nomadic peoples used as a place of worship. Dedicated to the Blessed Matron of Moscow, a seer venerated throughout Russia. The Siberian region hosts a lager where 7 priests and 4 deacons serve.
30.08.21 – More than 500 Orthodox churches to be built in Moscow
Moscow, August 30, Interfax – State Duma deputy Vladimir Resin who oversees the program for the construction of Orthodox churches in Moscow, known as the “program-200”, reported a significant increase in its scale.
28.08.21 – Moscow : 7 billion roubles to promote ‘spiritual ans moral’ online
The funds are in addition to another 3 billion already allocated by the government. The project’s main target audience will be young people. An initiative supported by Patriarch Kirill (Gundjaev): “We urgently need to respond intervene to the youth crisis”, especially after the protests in favour of Aleksej Naval’nyj.
27.08.21 – Appeal in Vladivostok approved the sentence of four years of conditional imprisonment for a 73-year-old believer
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On July 28, 2021 the panel of judges of the Primorsky Krai Court, chaired by Svetlana Gumenchuk, approved the verdict for Lyudmila Shut on appeal. The disabled person from the village of Razdolnoye was sentenced to 4 years of suspended imprisonment with probation for 3 years and restriction of freedom for 1 year for reading and discussing the Bible.
26.08.21 – A series of searches in Southwest Moscow. Three believers detained.
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On August 25, 2021 law enforcers searched at least five apartments in the Tyoply Stan district of Moscow. Most of the victims were Jehovah’s Witnesses. After interrogation, Eduard Sviridov, Sean Pike, and Aleksandr Rumyantsev were sent to jail. It is expected that on 27 August the Cheremushkinsky district court of Moscow will choose a measure of restraint for them.
26.08.21 – The Court of Appeal in Perm upheld the verdict against 5 believers. conditional terms from 2.5 to 7 years were approved
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On August 23, 2021, the Perm Regional Court rejected the appeal of five Jehovah’s Witnesses. Boris Burylov, Viktor Kuchkov, Alexandr Inozemtsev and Yuriy Vaag were found guilty of participation, and Igor Turik was found guilty of organizing and financing extremist activities. The sentence imposed by the court of first instance has not changed.
24.08.21 – RUSSIA: Post-sentence: Curfews, regular registration, movement restrictions, job bans
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims jailed on “extremism”-related charges for exercising freedom of religion or belief face years of restrictions once the sentence ends. With sudimost (the state of being a convicted person with an active criminal record), they risk harsher punishment if prosecuted again. Courts can impose post-sentence restrictions on freedom and administrative supervision, entailing curfews, movement restrictions, and regular registration with police or probation authorities. Individuals are barred from certain jobs.
20.08.21 – Searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses were again held in Sochi. 25-year-old believer is detained
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In the early morning of August 18, searches were carried out in Sochi at three addresses at least as part of a criminal case against 25-year-old Danil Suvorov. The believer was detained and placed in a temporary detention facility. The next day, the court ruled to send him to a pre-trial detention center.
19.08.21 – Another Jehovah’s Witness convicted in Birobidzhan
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On 19 August, Judge Vasilina Bezotecheskikh of the Birobidzhan district court found the Jehovah’s Witness Anastasia Guzeva guilty of participating in the activity of an extremist organization and sentenced her to a suspended prison term of 2.5 years, two years of probation, and one year of restricted liberty, a correspondent for the Credo.Press portal reported, citing a source among the Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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18.08.21 – Moscow patriarchate complains about alleged government negligence  
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Religious organizations were not able to receive a portion of measures of state support that was granted to other socially significant non-commercial organizations during the period of pandemic, the director of the legal department of the Moscow patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Hegumenia Ksenia, reported.