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RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special Bimonthly FORB digest (16-30.11.2021)

 29.11.2021 – Searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses were again held in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Criminal case initiated against 55-year-old believer

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/291532.html

On November 25, 2021, in Lesosibirsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), searches were carried out in the homes of 6 believers. It became known that a criminal case was initiated against 55-year-old Valeriy Shitz under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (organization of the activities of an extremist organization).

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26.11.2021 – “A group of missionaries” of the Islamic community “Tablighi Jamaat” banned in the Russian Federation was convicted in Saratov

Link to full text (only in Russian : https://credo.press/239879/

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

A court in Saratov has sentenced four active members of the local cell of the Tablighi Jamaat religious association recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation, Interfax reported on November 26 (interfax.ru) with reference to the press service of the FSB for the region.

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26.11.2021 – The first acquittal of one of Jehovah’s Witnesses under article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code in Vladivostok

Link to full text in Russian : https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/221624.html

On 22 November 2021 in Vladivostok, following the explanations of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the RF, an unprecedented event took place: after a continuous chain of convictions of Jehovah’s Witnesses Dmitriy Barmakin was found not guilty under part 1 of article 282.2 of the RF Criminal Code and acquitted by the court with the right to rehabilitation.

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26.11.2021 – The appeal in Birobidzhan left unchanged the sentence for believer Yevgeniy Yegoroa

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/261437.html

On November 25, 2021, the Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region dismissed the appeal of 30-year-old Yevgeniy Yegorov, the father of a young child. The sentence of the lower court—2.5 years suspended and 1 year of restriction of freedom—came into force.

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25.11.2021 – Lipetsk Court imposes large fines on three believers for Bible reading

Link to full text in Russian : https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/251459.html

On November 24, 2021, Judge Aleksandr Ustinov found Viktor Bachurin, Aleksandr Kostrov and Artur Netreba guilty of participating in the activities of an extremist organization and imposed a fine of 500,000 rubles on each of them. The fine was reduced to 300,000 rubles, since the believers spent almost a year in a pre-trial detention center.

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24.11.2021 – RUSSIA: Hare Krishna and Mikhail Frolov win their case against Russia in Strasbourg

Press Release by the Registrar of the Court (23.11.2021) – https://bit.ly/3l6PY0h – The applicants are the Centre of Societies for Krishna Consciousness, a religious organisation under Russian law based in Moscow, and a Russian national Mikhail Aleksandrovich Frolov.

The case concerns the applicants’ attempts to challenge hostile descriptions of the Krishna movement and the refusal of permission to hold public religious events promoting the teachings of Vaishnavism.

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23.11.2021 – Russia loses pair of religious freedom cases at European rights court

Two fringe religious groups won cases against Russia before Europe’s top rights court on Tuesday.

In two separate cases, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights found that Moscow unlawfully detained, harassed and deported members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, colloquially referred to as Hare Krishnas, and the Unification Church.

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23.11.2021 – Expulsion of two Moonist missionaries condemned by Strasbourg

With this judgment, the European Court has just confirmed again that the protection of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights does not only concern historical religions and belief systems with institutional characteristics but also newer religions, which is the case of the Church of Unification. Counter-cult, anti-cult organizations and “cult-watching” state agencies discriminating between so-called cults and religions – a stigmatizing process – should give up their argument that so-called cults are not religious or belief systems.

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18.11.2021 – The scandalous parish of the Kurgan false bishop is liquidated

Link to full text (only in Russia: https://ura.news/news/1052517476

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

The court decision on the liquidation of the Kurgan Orthodox parish in honor of the Holy Trinity, founded by the “false bishop” Baruch (Tishchenkov), entered into force. The Second General Jurisdiction Court of Appeal (St. Petersburg) upheld the position of the Kurgan Regional Court.

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18.11.2021 – Three elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses detained in Astrakhan region 

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://ria.ru/20211118/zaderzhanie-1759625229.html

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

Law enforcement officers have detained three alleged leaders of the extremist organization ” Jehovah’s Witnesses ” * banned in the Russian Federation in the Akhtuba region and the city of Znamensk, Astrakhan region , according to the SUSK of Russia in the region.

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18.11.2021 – The Court in Seversk sentenced the 80-year-old widow Yelena Saveliyeva to four years of suspended sentence for talking about Jehovah God

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/181626.html

On November 17, 2021, the judge of the Seversk City Court of the Tomsk Region Svetlana Chebotareva found Yelena Saveliyeva, a teacher with forty years of experience, guilty under the article on the activities of an extremist organization and sentenced her to four years of suspended sentence for talking about the Bible.

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15.11.2021 -Russian Supreme Court rules Jehovah’s Witnesses should not be prosecuted for joint worship

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/11/151413.html

On October 28, 2021, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled that joint worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses, their rites, and ceremonies do not constitute a crime under Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code, despite the liquidation of the religion’s legal entities.

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