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RUSSIA: Special bimonthly FORB Digest (01-16.10.2020)

16.10.20 – Already 700 days in detention. How is trial of 66-year-old believer Saveliev going in Novosibirsk?

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/8.html

Judge Ekaterina Kashina did not release the believer from the pre-trial detention center either due to the pandemic or even after the cassation decision on the illegality of his further detention. At the sessions, the court listens to the Orthodox sectologist’s reasoning.

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15.10.20 – Russian parliament backs away from controversial change in religion law

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.pnp.ru/politics/v-gosdume-predlagayut-osvobodit-deystvuyushhikh-svyashhennikov-ot-obyazatelnoy-attestacii.html

Deputies are preparing amendments that will free clergy and religious personnel of churches who are already active from mandatory certification and from getting supplementary professional education.

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14.10.20 – In Ivanovo Region, a sentence came into force on the believer Evgeniy Spirin.

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/7.html

On October 14, 2020, Ivanovo regional court upheld the sentence of Evgeniy Spirin, a 34-year-old believer from the town of Furmanov, who was fined 700 000 rubles for “extremism” by Furmanov town court in July. Given the time spent in detention, the amount payable is 500,000 rubles.

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13.10.20 – More harassment of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Penza region

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.zaprava.ru/v-penzenskoj-oblasti-pravooxraniteli-prishli-s-obyskami-k-chetyryom-semyam-svidetelej-iegovy/

On 11 October, in Penza oblast, searches were conducted in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses (an organization ruled to be extremist in the R.F.). As reported on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia website, armed security agents invaded the homes of at least four families of believers, who live in the city of Nikolsk, 100 kilometers from Penza.

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13.10.20 – High court in south Russia rules in Jehovah’s Witness’ favor

Link to full text in Russian: https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2020/10/13/v-dagestane-priznali-nezakonnym-otkaz-v-kompensacii-za-arest-svidetelya

On 7 October, the Dagestan Supreme Court ruled that the refusal of compensation for Jehovah’s Witness Arsen Abdullaev was not in compliance with the law; he was detailed in a SIZO for several months illegally. This was reported by Kavkaz.Realii, citing the believer’s lawyer, Maksim Pervunin.

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12.10.20 – Russian rights advocate defends Jehovah’s Witness couple

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5F840423B31BB

Judge Ivan Bogomolov of the Sverdlovsk district court of Kostroma sentenced Jehovah’s Witnesses Sergei and Valeria Raiman to suspended sentences of 8 and 7 years respectively. This was more than the state prosecution asked for.

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12.10.20 – In Stavropol, law enforcers planted banned literature on an elderly believer and “found” it during a search.

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/5.html

In the afternoon of October 6, 2020 in the village of Solnechnodolsk, located about 60 kilometers from Stavropol, law enforcement officers searched the 64-year-old Gennady Serdyukov and planted three books from the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

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09.10.20 – Russian parliament upsets religious leaders

Link to full text in Russian: https://ria.ru/20201009/semya–1578897783.html

Broad discussion of a draft law concerning the procedure for removal of children from a family should have been conducted with the participation of representatives of confessions back before the introduction of the document into the State Duma, the ruling bishop of the Russian Associated Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith—Pentecostals, Sergei Riakhovsky declared.

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09.10.20- Longest prison term yet for Jehovah’s Witness

Link to full text in Russian: https://kostroma.today/news/kostromskix-svidetelej-iegovy-vstretili-posle-prigovora-cvetami/

The married couple Sergei and Valeria Raiman, who today were found guilty of creating the Kostroma organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses (forbidden in Russia and ruled extremist), were greeted today at the courtroom with flowers from relatives, friends, and fellow believers, a Kostroma Today correspondent reports.

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08.10.20 – Orthodox patriarch immobilized by COVID-19

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=dujour&div=447

Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill did not participate in the traditional celebration of the day of the repose of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, which is marked on 8 October, because he is in quarantine.

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08.10.20 – Six Jehovah’s Witnesses found guilty and sentenced

Link to full text in Russian: https://73online.ru/r/v_ulyanovske_osudili_svideteley_iegovy-82180

Today, 8 October, a court issued a verdict for six residents of Ulyanovsk, members of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is forbidden in Russia.

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07.10.20 – An acquittal verdict – for the first time in three years – handed to one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yuriy Zalipayev of Kabardino-Balkaria found not guilty

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/2.html

On October 7, 2020, Elena Kudryavtseva, a judge of the May District Court of Kabardino-Balkaria, acquitted Yury Zalipaev, having found the accusations of calls to extremism unproven. Unfair criminal prosecution of the believer lasted more than 4 years. If the prosecutor’s office does not appeal the sentence, it will take effect.

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02.10.20 – After the searches in Sevastopol, four peaceful believers were sent to a detention center for at least two months

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/1.html

On October 1, 2020, law enforcers searched at least 9 local residents in Sevastopol. The next day the court sent Vladimir Maladyka, Yevgeni Zhukov, Vladimir Sakada and Igor Schmidt to the detention center. Several years ago, law enforcers unsuccessfully tried to plant a banned book on believers.

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