RUSSIA: Special Bimonthly Digest on Freedom of Religion or Belief (17-31.01.2021)
29.01.21 – RUSSIA: “The policy of expelling ‘extremists and terrorists'”
After serving sentences as “extremists” for meeting to study and worship, three former prisoners of conscience face expulsion. One was deported, one may be expelled later in 2021, and one remains in detention as he is now stateless and no country has agreed to take him. “I think that the authorities – that is, de facto, the security services – perceive this measure not as an additional punishment, but as a way to get rid of the problem,” says Aleksandr Verkhovsky.
29.01.21 – The Republic of Tyva became the 61st region of Russia where Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted.
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/7.html
On January 28, 2021 the FSB conducted searches on believers in Kyzyl, the capital of the Tyva Republic. 41 year-old Anatoliy Senin was detained and placed in the temporary detention center. It became known that a criminal case was opened against him under an “extremist” article. In the next two days the court will decide on the question of a believer’s preventive measure.
26.01.21 – A sentence for discussing the Bible has been imposed in Rostov-on-Don. Galina Parkova received a two-year-three-month suspended sentence
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/6.html
On January 26, 2021, judge of the Leninsky District Court of Rostov-on-Don, Snezhana Fedorova, sentenced Galina Parkova to 2 years and 3 months on probation with the same probation period. The court considered the participation of a believer in peaceful religious meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremism.
26.01.2021 – Another criminal conviction of Jehovah’s Witnesses woman
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/359093/
A court in Rostov-on-Don ruled that the Jehovah’s Witness Galina Parkova is a member of an extremist organization and sentenced her to a suspended sentence of two years and three months imprisonment. The believer refused to admit herself to be guilty.
25.01.21 – Jehovah’s Witness triumphs in high court over prosecution
Link to full text in Russian : https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/359063/
Today the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria refused to overturn the verdict of acquittal in the case of Jehovah’s Witness Yury Zalipaev, contrary to the position of the prosecutor’s office. Zalipaev has been granted the right to rehabilitation.
25.01.21 – Influential church official criticizes Orthodox dissident
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76588
The head of the synodal Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Ilarion, urged Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev to repent and cease his blasphemy against the church.
23.01.21 – Prosecutor tries to overturn victory of Jehovah’s Witness in south of Russia
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.media/articles/358950/
The Jehovah’s Witness Yury Zalipaev, whose acquittal is being appealed before the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria, declared that he did not call for extremism, which the materials of the case confirm.
23.01.21 – A Jewish Autonomous Region court sentenced the 43-year-old nurse Anastasiya Sychyeva to two years of suspended sentence for her belief in Jehovah’s God
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/3.html
On January 21, 2021, the judge of the Obluchensky district court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Olga Afanasyeva, found Anastasiya Sycheva a member of a forbidden organization and sentenced her to 2 years of suspended imprisonment with a 2-year probation period and 6 months of restricted freedom.
22.01.21 – Udmurtia law enforcement raided the homes and workplaces of believers. A married couple was detained
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/5.html
On January 21, 2021, law enforcement officers conducted searches in seven homes and workplaces of Votkinsk-based Jehovah’s Witnesses.
22.01.21 – Feliks Makhammadiyev has been released. He was deported from Russia, and reconnected with his wife at the central railway station in Tashkent
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/4.html
After serving three years in prison for his faith, Feliks Makhammadiyev, having been deprived of Russian citizenship because of criminal prosecution, was released in the country of his birth on January 21, 2021. His wife Yevgenia, a Russian citizen, left the Russian Federation and followed him.
21.01.21 – Nineteen Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial in Birobidzhan region
Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/MkaMKaN
Verdicts were announced for Jehovah’s Witnesses Evgeny Golik and Anastasia Sycheva in the Jewish autonomous oblast. This was reported to OVD-Info by the press service of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
21.01.21 – Court keeps case of “Moscow Five” Jehovah’s Witnesses open
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76577
The Presnya court of Moscow extended the period of restriction under house arrest for adherents of the movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses (forbidden in the R.F.)
20.01.21 – Yevgeniy Golik, 44, of Birobidzhan was convicted for his faith. He received a two-and-half year suspended sentence
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/2.html
On January 20, 2021 Olga Klyuchikova, judge of the Birobidzhan district court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, sentenced Yevgeny Golik under part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist association): 2.5 years of suspended sentence with a probation period of 3 years and restriction of freedom for 1 year.
18.01.21 – Devotees of forbidden organization of Jehovah’s witnesses to be tried in Stavropol
Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/5ka1UL2
The organizers of the activity of a local division of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the city of Budennovsk, which is prohibited on Russian territory, will be tried. This was reported by the press service of the Neftekumsk district court.
18.01.2021 – Case of Jehovah’s witnesses from Neftekimsk reaches court
Link to full text in Russian : https://www.sova-center.ru/religion/news/extremism/counter-extremism/2021/01/d43514/
On 13 January, the criminal case of three Jehovah’s Witnesses reached the Neftekumsk district court of Stavropol territory. They are charged under part 3, article 33, part 1, article 282.2 (arranging the activity of an extremist organization) and part 3, article 33, part 1, article 282.3 (arranging the financing of extremist activity) of the Criminal Code.