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Religious freedom and issues – Bimonthly Digest (15–30.11.2022)

 

28.11.2022 – In Ussuriysk, three of Jehovah’s Witnesses were given 6 years of suspended sentence for discussing the Bible

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/301332.html

On November 30, 2022, Dmitriy Babushkin, judge of the Ussuriysk District Court of Primorye Territory, found Sergey Korolchuk, Anton Chermnykh and Dmitriy Tishchenko guilty of “continuing the illegal activities of a banned religious organization.” This is how the authorities interpret the peaceful conversations of Jehovah’s Witnesses about the Bible.

All believers received the same sentence: 6 years of suspended term, 4 years of probation, and 1 year of restriction of liberty. The verdict has not yet entered into force and can be appealed.

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28.11.2022 – Sentence passed in Dagestan in case of four Jehovah’s Witnesses

Sova Center – On November 25, 2022, the Kirovsky District Court of Makhachkala sentenced Jehovah’s Witnesses Arsen Abdullayev, Marat Abdulgalimov, and Anton Dergalev to six and a half years of suspended imprisonment under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization) and Part 1 of Art. 282.3 of the Criminal Code (financing of extremist activities), and Maria Karpova to six years of probation under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code.

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24.11.2022 – Investigation of case against three Jehovah’s Witnesses completed in Taganrog

Sova center – On November 24, 2022, the Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee for the Rostov Region reported on the completion of the investigation of the criminal case under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organizing the activities of an extremist organization) in relation to three Jehovah’s Witnesses.According to investigators, the defendants continued the activities of the community from 2016 to 2021, organizing “worship services and training sessions.” Probably, we are talking about Alexander Skvortsov, Vladimir Moiseenko and Valeria Tibia. Skvortsov  became a  suspect under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code in December 2021, since then he has been in jail. In April 2022, information appeared that the suspects under Art. 282 of the Criminal Code  became  Moiseenko and Tibiy.

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22.11.2022 – Jehovah’s Witness from Chelyabinsk region sentenced to suspended sentence

Sova center – On November 21, 2022, the Ashinsky City Court of the Chelyabinsk Region found 50-year-old Jehovah’s Witness Andrey Perminov guilty under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization) and gave him a six-year suspended sentence. The materials of the criminal case were  received  by the court in June. The persecution of Perminov, a disabled person of group I, began in June 2021 after a search was conducted at his  place , and at the same time searches were carried out at the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses Andrey and  Vadim  Fedorov. In November, they took a written undertaking not to leave Perminov; His case went to court on May 6, 2022.

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22.11.2022 – Volgograd citizen fined for possession of Islamic books

Sova Center – On November 16, 2022, the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Volgograd fined 3,000 rubles under Art. 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (storage of extremist materials for the purpose of mass distribution) of the father of many children, Kamal Kurbanov.

From the court ruling, it follows that the FSB officers came to the household, for which Kurbanov was responsible and in which, according to the department, a certain religious school operated.

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21.11.2022 – Believer, 59, placed under house arrest after a day in temporary detention facility. A new criminal case against a Jehovah’s Witness in Primorye

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/211653.html

On November 18, 2022, in the village of Tavrichanka, a search was carried out in the house of Viktor Chernov, 59. The next day he was interrogated and placed in a temporary detention center for a day. As it became known, the reason for the detention of the believer was the testimony of a secret agent who collected information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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21.11.2022 – The court in the Chelyabinsk region issued a guilty verdict to Andrey Perminov. Group I disabled person sentenced to 6 years probation for believing in Jehovah God

Link to full text in Russian : https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/211441.html

On November 21, 2022, the judge of the Asha City Court of the Chelyabinsk Region, Ravil Nusratov, found Andrey Perminov, 50, chained to a wheelchair from his youth, guilty of extremism because of his religion and sentenced him to 6 years of suspended sentence.

Andrey Perminov is a disabled person of the group I. The criminal prosecution of the believer began in the summer of 2021, when investigator Yevgeniy Dolgaev opened a criminal case against him, and a series of searches took place in the Chelyabinsk region of those whom the investigation considered to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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21.11.2022 – An appeal in Moscow upheld the verdict for Serebryakov and Temirbulatov. Believers sentenced to 6 years of probation

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/211919.html

On November 21, 2022, the Moscow City Court rejected the appeals of Yuriy Temirbulatov, Aleksandr Serebryakov and their defense lawyers and did not change the sentence—6 years of suspended sentence each. Believers still insist on their complete innocence and can file a cassation complaint.

In August 2022, the Golovinsky District Court of Moscow found the believers guilty of organizing the activities of an extremist organization for participating in religious services of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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17.11.2022 – In Ivanovo, a criminal case was initiated against Jehovah’s Witnesses

Sova Center -On November 9, 2022, three Jehovah’s Witnesses from Ivanovo were searched in connection with a new criminal case. Probably, it was initiated under Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization or participation in it).

During the searches, personal records, means of communication, memory cards and money were confiscated from believers. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose names have not yet been released, have become defendants in a criminal case.

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17.11.2022 – A court in Krasnoyarsk fined a Jehovah’s Witness. Igor Gusev will have to pay the state 600,000 rubles for his faith

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/171322.html

In the Krasnoyarsk Territory, another guilty verdict was passed against one of Jehovah’s Witnesses: On November 17, 2022, the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Krasnoyarsk imposed a fine of 600,000 rubles on Igor Gusev, 58. Judge Aleksandr Aksyutenko considered it illegal to discuss the Bible peacefully with fellow believers.

The verdict has not entered into force and can be appealed. The believer insists on his innocence. According to him, the FSB investigator offered to formalize in writing “a renunciation of faith in Jehovah God.” In return, the believer was promised to stop the case. “It was at that moment that I realized that I was being tried not for a crime, but for my faith,” said Igor Gusev.

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16.11.2022 – Jehovah’s Witness sentenced to real time in Stavropol Territory

Sova Center – On November 14, 2022, the Georgievsky City Court of the Stavropol Territory sentenced Jehovah’s Witnesses Viktor Zimovsky, who was charged under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization) and Part 1 of Art. 282.3 of the Criminal Code (financing of extremist activities), as well as to spouses Anatoly and Irina Gezik, who were accused under Part 1.1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (involvement in the activities of an extremist organization), part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of such an organization) and Art. 156 of the Criminal Code (improper performance of duties for the upbringing of a minor by a parent).

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16.11.2022 – Prison term, suspended sentence, and corrective labor: three of Jehovah’s Witnesses sentenced in Stavropol for their faith

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2022/11/161451.html

On November 14, 2022, the Georgievsk City Court of the Stavropol Territory found Viktor Zimovskiy and the couple Anatoliy and Irina Gezik guilty of extremism for professing their faith. This decision was made by judge Nina Anashkina.

The court sentenced Viktor Zimovskiy to 6 years and 2 months in a penal colony (he was taken into custody in the courtroom), Anatoliy Gezik received 4 years and 2 months of corrective labor, and Irina Gezik was given a suspended sentence of 4 years and 2 months. The decision of the court has not entered into force and can be appealed. The believers insist on their complete innocence.

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