RUSSIA: Special bimonthly FORB Digest (16.10-01.11.2020)
29.10.20 – Four Jehovah’s Witnesses fail to erase criminal record
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.zaprava.ru/bryanskij-sud-podtverdil-obvinitelnyj-prigovor-4-svidetelyam-iegovy-iz-novozybkova/
On 28 October, the Briansk oblast court reviewing an appellate complaint against the sentence of four Jehovah’s Witnesses (an organization considered extremist in the R.F.) from Novozybkov left it in force. As reported on the website of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, Vladimir Khokhlov, Eduard Zhinzhikov, Tatiana Shamsheva, and Olga Silaeva remain at liberty because they had already served the time imposed on them in the pretrial investigation cell (SIZO).
28.10.20 – Appeals court rebuffs Jehovah’s Witnesses
Link to full text in Russian: https://sarinform.ru/news/2020/10/28/225319
The Dimitrovgrad city court of Ulianovsk oblast refused a member of the Saratov congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (ruled to be extremist and its activity banned on Russian territory), Konstantin Bazhenov, his petition to substitute a milder punishment for his unserved time in a penal colony. This was reported by the press service of the court.
27.10.20 – St. Petersburg authorities try to halt Jehovah’s Witnesses’ internet activity
Link to full text in Russian: http://rapsinews.ru/judicial_news/20201027/306440833.html
A court will consider on 14 December a lawsuit of the prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg against Roskomnadzor to find to be extremist a mobile phone application, “JW Library,” which was created by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and distributed through the application stores Google Play and App Store, RAPSI was told at the Joint Press Service of courts of St. Petersburg.
26.10.20 – Dennis Christensen again denied early release
Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/233650/
On 26 October, the Lgov district court of Kursk oblast refused to substitute a fine for the unserved portion of his prison term for the Dane Dennis Christensen. The court cited Christensen’s unwillingness to work in prison production, although such labor is contraindicated for him because of the condition of his health, a correspondent for the portal Credo.Press reports, referring to a source among Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses.
23.10.20 – Sect leader held in notorious Moscow psychiatric clinic
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=75962
Lawyers for the defendants in the case of the “Church of the Last Testament” report that the head of the community, Sergei Torop (Vissarion), was transferred to the Serbsky Institute.
23.10.20 – A Kirov court finds Anatoliy Tokarev, a peaceful believer, guilty of extremism.
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/12.html
On October 23, 2020, the Oktyabrsky District Court of Kirov announced the verdict in the case of 61-year-old Anatoliy Tokarev, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was found guilty of organizing the activities of the banned organization and fined 500 thousand rubles.
23.10.20 – Law enforcement officials conduct another raid against believers in Russia’s Far East.
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/11.html
On October 22, 2020, searches were conducted in the town of Sovetskaya Gavan (Khabarovsk Territory). Aleksey Ukhov, 40, was detained, his electronic devices were taken from him and he was placed into isolator in neighboring settlement Vanino. Details are being clarified.
21.10.20 – Two believers, who experienced beatings in an Orenburg correctional facility, may be released early.
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/10.html
Saratov residents Roman Gridasov and Gennady German, sentenced to 2 years in prison for their faith, served half their sentence. In September, the defense requested their release in exchange for a fine. It is expected that the Central District Court of Orenburg will consider their application in November 2020.
20.10.20 – Religious rights group “Article28” publicizes violations
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.sclj.ru/news/detail.phpSECTION_ID=527&ELEMENT_ID=8309
On Sunday, 18 October, at about 5:00 p.m., a group of law enforcers disrupted a religious gathering in the city of Orekhovo-Zuevo, the website of project “Article28” reports [also referred to as “Svoboda28” (Freedom28)–tr.]. According to eyewitness accounts, these were personnel from the prosecutor’s office, the police (“E” Center), and the F.S.B.
20.10.20 – Mormon family loses appeal in European court
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.ng.ru/news/692955.html
On 20 October 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.H.R.) published a decision in the case of the pastor of the “Community of Christ” church [also known as Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—tr.], Perov v. Russia.
19.10.20 – Moscow patriarch finalizes excommunication of extremist cleric
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=75941
Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill confirmed the decision of the court of the Ekaterinburg diocese concerning expulsion from the church of schema monk Sergius (Nikolai Romanov), the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church reported on Monday evening.
19.10.20 – The Center for Counteracting Extremism, the FSB and the Investigative Committee conducted a joint raid on believers near Yekaterinburg
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/10/9.html
In the early morning of October 19, 2020, at least 5 searches of the residences of local Jehovah’s Witnesses took place in the town of Beryozovsky near Ekaterinburg. The 38-year-old Konstantin Zotov was detained, but after 3 hours of interrogation was released. Details are being clarified.
16.10.20 – Dissident Orthodox priest taken to court
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=75917
The Kurgan diocese [of the Russian Orthodox Church—tr.] has declared that news reports about holding one of its parishes accountable for illegal missionary activity do not correspond to reality, inasmuch as they refer to a parish of a schismatic.