RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special Bimonthly FORB Digest (01–15.01.2022)

14.01.2022 – Court approves sentencing of three Jehovah’s Witnesses from Pavlov
On January 14, 2022, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld the conviction of Alexei Oreshkov, Alexander Rakovsky, and Alexander Vavilov, Jehovah’s Witnesses from Pavlov, under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist organization).
13.01.2022 – The federal list of extremist materials has grown to item 5256
On January 12, 2022, the federal list of extremist materials was updated. The list was supplemented by several issues of the Islamic magazine Al-Wai, an audio recording of the life of a thief, and an appendix of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
13.01.2022 – Kostroma Regional Court approved a real term for Jehovah’s Witness Terebilov
On January 12, 2022, the Kostroma Regional Court considered an appeal against the sentence handed down in September to Jehovah ‘s Witness Dmitry Terebilov under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 (participation in the activities of an extremist organization). The sentence imposed on him in the form of three years of imprisonment in a strict regime colony was left unchanged.
13.01.2022 – Verdict on Jehovah’s Witness Schmidt confirmed in Sevastopol
On January 13, 2021, the Sevastopol City Court upheld the sentence handed down by the Gagarinsky District Court of the city in October to Jehovah ‘s Witness Igor Shmidt. 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 six years in prison.
12.01.2022 – Case against Jehovah’s Witness initiated in Nizhny Novgorod
On November 12, 2021, the Main Investigation Department of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Nizhny Novgorod Region opened a case against Jehovah’s Witness Gevorg Gevorkyan under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 (organization of activities of an extremist organization).
12.01.2022 – Case of ten Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters submitted to court
The case will be considered by the Central District Military Court.
On December 12, 2022, it became known that FSB officers had transferred to the Central District Court the case of ten supporters of the radical Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia. Eight of them – Damir Abdrafikov, Ruslan Bariev, Rafis Idrisov, Farrukh Makhkamov, Shakhboz Makhmudov, Turatbek Osmonkulov, Aidar Tashbulatov, Ruslan Fomin – are charged under Part 2 of Art. 205.5 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of a terrorist organization).
12.01.2022 – Appeals court defies instructions from Supreme Court in Jehovah’s Witnesses case
Link to full text in Russian:
The cassation court in Krasnodar left in force the decision in the case of the Jehovah’s Witness Semen Baibak from Rostov-on-Don, who was sentenced to three and a half years in a case about participation in an extremist organization and its financing.
As Kavkazskii Uzel has written, Semen Baibak was arrested in June 2019. On 21 December 2020 a court sentenced him to a suspended sentence of 3.5 years in prison, having found him to be a member of an extremist organization (part 2, article 282.2 of CC RF) and guilty of financing its activity (part 1, article 282.3 CC RF).
10.01.2022 – In Khabarovsk, the court will reconsider the case of six Jehovah’s Witnesses
On January 10, 2022, a new trial of the case of six Jehovah’s Witnesses charged under Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization or participation in one); The case went to court on December 15, 2021.
Recall that earlier, on August 3, 2020, the Industrialny District Court, after 20 meetings, returned this case to the prosecutor’s office to eliminate violations in the indictment, and on October 12, 2020, the Khabarovsk regional court upheld this decision, rejecting the appeal of the prosecutor’s office.
05.01.2022 – Nikolsk Court hands a three-year suspended sentence to the Krupnovs for discussing the Bible
Link to full text in Russian :
On December 30, 2021, the judge of the Nikolsk District Court of the Penza Region, Irina Kuznetsova, sentenced Petr Krupnov and his wife, Maya, to 3 years probation and 8 months of freedom restrictions. The judge considered the discussion of the biblical commandments as participation in the activities of a banned organization.