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RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief: Special Bimonthly FORB digest (16-31.10.2021)

30.10.2021 – The case of “illegal” missionary work is opened against the Krasnodar imam

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239479/

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

The Prikubanskiy District Court of Krasnodar received a case under Art. 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (violation of the legislation on freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and on religious associations) against Imam Magomed Asuev, reported on October 29 IAC “Sova” (recognized by the authorities of the Russian Federation as a foreign agent, but disputes this status). The imam intends to challenge the drawing up of the administrative protocol in court.

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29.10.2021 – Stop persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses! Open petition of the Christian Action Movement

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239472/

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

All religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian Federation were recognized as extremist by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and liquidated – Approx. Ed.

With this statement, we want to draw attention to the intensification of the persecution for the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are unreasonably declared extremists in our country. Today, the courts are sentencing them to significantly longer terms of imprisonment than they used to be. If only yesterday women from Jehovah’s Witnesses were sentenced mainly to a suspended sentence, today they are actually being sent behind barbed wire.

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29.10.2021 – Muslim prisoners in the Kurgan region complained about the employees of the colony, who sneered at the Koran

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239465/

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

Muslim prisoners in IK No. 2 in the Kurgan region have complained about the colony employees, reported on October 28 IAC “Sova” (recognized by the authorities of the Russian Federation as a foreign agent, but disputes this status). According to the prisoners, in August the colony officers confiscated their religious belongings, in particular, threw the Koran on the floor and stomped on it.

The prisoners appealed to the human rights activist Gabdulla Isakayev, who, in turn, appealed to the investigating authorities, but the initiation of a criminal case was refused. The FPS and the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee “did not confirm” the facts stated in the appeal. Gabdulla Isakayev is trying to appeal against the refusal.

 

28.10.2021 – New searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place in Chelyabinsk

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239457/

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

On October 22, Chelyabinsk security forces searched the homes of 53-year-old Vadim Gizatulin and 52-year-old Irina Mikhailenko. Electronic devices and old telephone books were seized from their Chelyabinsk co-religionists during a search. After the searches, Vadim Gizatulin and his wife, as well as Irina Mikhailenko with her husband and son, were taken to the Investigative Committee for interrogation.

Operational measures for Chelyabinsk residents were repeated, they were sanctioned by the  Traktorozavodsky District Court on the basis of a criminal case.

In April 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared extremist and liquidated all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

 

28.10.2021 – “He suffers for his beliefs.” 

VIDEO: “He suffers for his beliefs.” Georgy Sukhoboky, a priest of the ROC MP from the Ulyanovsk region, is fired for sympathy for Alexei Navalny.

Link for the video

 

26.10.2021 – USCIRF releases new report on religious freedom violations in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya

The government of Chechnya—a tiny ethnic enclave in the North Caucasus region of Russia—is a highly authoritarian regime that perpetrates a wide array of human rights abuses, including severe violations of religious freedom. This report focuses on Chechnya as an example of the egregious religious repression in Russia.

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25.10.2021 – Case of Ivanov and others in Astrakhan

Link to full text in Russian) : https://jw-russia.org/cases/astrakhan.html#20211025

In June 2020, in Astrakhan, the investigator of the RF IC for the Astrakhan region Nikolai Banko opened a criminal case under an extremist article against Sergei Klikunov, Rustam Diarov, Yevgeny Ivanov and his wife Olga. The next day, June 9, a series of searches took place. After that, four believers were taken into custody.

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27.10.2021 – Representatives of the muftiats of the North Caucasus complain to the authorities about the “destructive activities” of the DUM RF

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239433/

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

The leaders and activists of the Islamic community of the North Caucasus opposed the interference of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SAM) of the Russian Federation in the religious life of this region.

“To draw the attention of state and municipal authorities to the destructive activities of representatives of the so-called spiritual administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation in the North Caucasus, associated with the unjustified opening of parallel religious communities, leading to a split of Muslims and conflict situations, ignoring the inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations historically formed in the region,” – said in the resolution of the conference held on October 26-27 in Maykop on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Muftiate of Adygea and Krasnodar Territory.

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26.10.2021 – Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) awarded a group of officials, including a defendant in the EU sanctions list related to the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Link to full text in Russian: credo.press/239162/

The Order of Righteous Prince Daniel of Moscow III degree was awarded to Andrey Yarin, Head of the Presidential Department for Internal Policy of the Russian Federation, a graduate of the St. Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. According to the decision of the Council of the European Union of October 14, 2020, “Andrey Yarin is responsible for encouraging and supporting persons who have carried out or were involved in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with the nerve agent “Novichok”, which, according to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, is the use of chemical weapons.” In this regard, Andrei Yarin was among the persons against whom the EU and the United Kingdom imposed personal sanctions.

 

26.10.2021 – Severe sentences draw renewed attention to Jehovah’s Witnesses

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

A court in Astrakhan sentenced three adherents of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses to eight years in a penal colony, and another woman believer to three and a half years imprisonment. This was reported by a regional department of the Investigative Committee.

According to the bureau, after the prohibition of the organization in 2017 and before their arrest in June 2020, they “continued to arrange meetings,” “used conspiratorial measures, including video conference links,” and engaged in distribution of extremist literature.

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25.10.21 – Orthodox church leader regrets Putin’s mortality

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

The FSB reported on October 4 about the detention in Moscow and the Moscow region of two leaders and six members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami organization banned in the Russian Federation.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, in cooperation with units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Service of the National Guard of the Russian Federation in the city of Moscow and the Moscow Region, suppressed the activities of a cell of the international terrorist organization” Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami “(banned in Russia by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in 2003), two leaders and six of its active participants were detained, “the FSB’s Public Relations Center (DSP) reports.

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25.10.21 – Court assigns longest prison terms yet to three Jehovah’s Witnesses

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/369454/

A court in Astrakhan issued sentences of from 3.5 to 8 years in a penal colony to four Jehovah’s Witnesses, having found them guilty of arranging, participating in, and financing an extremist organization.

As Kavkazskii Uzel has written, in June 2020 four persons in Astrakhan were arrested, who, according to information of security agents, were directing an underground cell of a forbidden religious organization. On 31 May 2021 investigators reported that the case had been delivered to a court.

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21.10.21 – Russian Supreme Court reports decline in application of anti-evangelism law

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/wRBJYn6

On 18 October 2021 the Judicial Department under the Russian Supreme Court published statistical data on the number of cases considered by courts in the first six months of 2021 based on article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the R.F. (violation of legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession and on religious associations).

According to these data, in the first six months a total of 153 cases based on this article were considered; this is fewer than in the similar period of the year 2020 (201).

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Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website

 

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