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Russia: Special Bimonthly FORB Digest (01-15.04.2020)

– 14.04.20 – Series of searches in the Ivanovo Region. Security officials seek evidence of Jehovah’s Witnesses activity


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/9.html


Early in the morning on Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the midst of quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, in the city of Teykovo, Ivanovo Region, security forces invaded the apartments of four believers’ families, exposing them to the risk of contracting a deadly disease. This time there were no detentions, but electronic devices and personal belongings were seized from believers.


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14.04.20 – Jehovah’s Witnesses are searched despite pandemic lock-down

Link to full text in Russian : https://7×7-journal.ru/news/2020/04/14/v-ivanovskoj-oblasti-proshli-obyski-u-svidetelej-iegovy


In Taikovo of Ivanovo oblast, security forces arrived for searches in four families of adherents of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This was reported on 14 April on the website of devotees of this confession.


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13.04.20 – Antisemitic incident in north of Russia

Link to full text in Russian:



The Jewish cultural center “North Star” in Arkhangelsk was set on fire in the night of Sunday-Monday. An investigation is under way, the press service of the regional department of the emergency ministry reported.


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11.04.20 – Baptists cry out for federal intervention against scapegoating


Link to full text in Russian:



In the name of the centralized religious organization “Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists” (hereafter RSEKhB) I express my concern about the fact that against the backdrop of social tension, public statements of several officials and journalists are leading to tension within the nation, inciting inter-religious strife, and, as a consequence, to attempts to commit terrorist acts.

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08.04.20 – Nikolay Makhalichev will not be extradited to Russia. He was released from Belarusian pre-trial detention center


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/8.html


On April 7, 2020, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus refused to extradite Nikolay Makhalichev to the Russian Federation, where a criminal case awaited him on the grounds of religion. On the same day, he was released from the Vitebsk pre-trial detention center after being detained there since the end of February. He was released a few hours before the beginning of the Lord’s Supper.


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08.04.20 – Envelope inscribed “Bible Quiz”: Igor Ivashin, sentenced to six years’ probation, will receive back material evidence of his ‘crime’sentencing of Jehovah’s Witness set for Tuesday


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/7.html


The April 1st verdict to the believer – a husband and father of two children – provides a list of material evidence by which one can judge the nature of his ‘crime’: “Religious cards; religious games; envelope with religious pictures; Bible domino; folder with Bible comics; box with postcards.”


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06.04.20 – Little victims of big injustice. Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are detained, interrogated, humiliated


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/6.html


Since 2016, at least 18 cases of harassment of the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been recorded in various regions of Russia. Five such episodes occurred in January 2020.


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03.04.2020 – In Belarus, Human Rights groups protest plan to extradite Nikolay Makhalichev to Russia, where he faces persecution for faith

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/5.html


On March 16, 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia sent Belarus a request for the extradition of Russian citizen Nikolai Makhalichev, 36, who is accused of erroneous religious views in his homeland.


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03.04.20 – 20 whole families of Jehovah’s Witnesses face prosecution


Link to full text in Russian: https://www.zaprava.ru/fsb-saxalina-vozbudila-ugolovnye-dela-protiv-semi-svidetelej-iegovy/


On 20 March 2020, in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, agents of the F.S.B. opened criminal cases against a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses (an organization considered extremist in the RF). As jw-russia reports, an investigator of the investigation department of the F.S.B. directorate, D. Melnikov, opened a criminal case on the basis of part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (organizing an extremist community) against a local resident, Tatiana Kulakova. Earlier criminal cases had been opened against her son and husband also.


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02.04.2020 – On Sakhalin, criminal cases for faith have been opened against parents and the eldest son. The youngest son defends the right to ACS in courts


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/4.html


On March 20, 2020, the investigator D. Melnikov opened another criminal case under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against local resident Tatyana Kulakova.


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02.04.2020 – Khanty-Mansiysk Court of appeal finds unlawful hospitalization of a believer in a psychiatric linic


Link to the full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/3.html


On March 5, 2020, the Court of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Yugra canceled the decision of the Surgut City Court judge on referring Timofey Zhukov to a 30-day psychiatric examination in Yekaterinburg.


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02.04.2020 – A criminal case for faith reopened against the already convicted residents of Karpinsk. A series of searches took place


Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/2.html


On March 30, 2020, in Karpinsk, security forces again searched the homes of Venera Dulova and her daughter, Daria, as well as Alexander Pryanikov. All had received conditional sentences in late January on charges of extremism

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02.04.2020 – In Yakutia, a judge sentenced a father of two children to six years’ probation for believing in Jehovah


Link to full text in Russia: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/04/1.html


On April 1, 2020, the judge of the Lensk District Court of the Republic of Yakutia, Zhanna Shmidt, sentenced Igor Ivashin, 43, to six years in prison, conditionally, for believing in Jehovah God and discussing the Bible. Ivashin called the accusations of extremism far-fetched: There is no evidence in the case and no victim.


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