RUSSIA: Special bimonthly FORB Digest (16-30.09.2020)
29.09.20 – Judge says prosecution did not prove case against Jehovah’s Witness
Link to full text in Russian:
The Pervorechensk district court of Vladivostok ordered the return to the prosecutor’s office of the case of Jehovah’s Witness Elena Barmakina, accused of participation in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2, article 282.2 C.C.). This is reported on the website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
26.09.20 – Russian parliament delays consideration of controversial changes in religion law
Link to full text in Russian: https://ria.ru/20200926/zakon-1577815329.html
The draft law “On introducing changes into federal law ‘On freedom of conscience and religious associations'” can be adopted only in the event of its approval by the traditional confessions, declared the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion.
25.09.20 – Black Sea resort church fined for breaking antievangelism law
Link to full text in Russian: https://anapa-ch.ru/pastora-missionerskoj-cerkvi-anapy-priznali-narushitelem-i-oshtrafovali/
During a verification of compliance with legislation on freedom of conscience and religious associations back in the summer, the Anapa inter-district prosecutor’s office established that the religious group “Tree of Life Church Anapa” was conducting missionary activity without submitting the mandatory notification about the start of its activity in the directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the territory.
25.09.20 – Two years of conditional imprisonment for faith. A 73-year-old woman and a married couple sentenced in Kamchatka
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/09/10.html
25.09.20 – State acts to legally abolish Siberian sect
Link to full text in Russian: https://rg.ru/2020/09/25/reg-sibfo/krasnoiarskie-prokurory-zaiavili-isk-o-likvidacii-cerkvi-poslednego-zaveta.html
On the basis of an inspection, the prosecutor’s office of Krasnoyarsk territory sent to a court a lawsuit requesting the liquidation of the religious organization “Church of the Last Testament.” As reported in the press service of the office of prosecutor general of the Russian Federation, the basis for submitting a lawsuit was incidents discovered in the course of an inspection that involved experts.
25.09.20 – The detention of believers from Dagestan was illegal. This was the ruling of the Fifth Court of Cassation in Pyatigorsk
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/09/9.html
The confusion on the faces of prosecutors on September 21, 2020 was caused by the decision of the Fifth Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction that the detention of of four Jehovah’s Witnesses from Makhachkala was illegal.
24.09.20 – Russian law enforcement in Far East gives Jehovah’s Witnesses a break
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.sibreal.org/a/30855335.html
The directorate of the F.S.B. [Federal Security Service] for Sakhalin oblast in late August ended the criminal prosecution of residents of Nevelsk for religious activity. The case against Viacheslav Ivanov and Dmitry Kulakov was closed, a representative of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Yaroslav Sivulsky, reported on 24 September.
23.09.20 – Law enforcement moves against Russian sect in Siberia
Link to full text in Russian: https://tass.ru/proisshestviya/9525939
The Central district court of Novosibirsk on Tuesday placed Sergei Torop into custody; he is the founder of the Church of the Last Testament who calls himself Vissarion. Also detained were leaders of the religious association, Vladimir Vedernikov and Vadim Redkin.
22.09.20 – Drawn-out trial reaches conclusion for Jehovah’s Witness
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/354436/
The prosecution requested two years in a penal colony settlement for a Jehovah’s Witness from Maisky, Yury Zalipaev. Zalipaev’s defense attorney requested that the court fully exonerate him, recalling the contradictions in witnesses’ testimony.
21.09.20 – Russian parliament will consider changes in religion law tomorrow
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.ng.ru/editorial/2020-09-20/2_7968_editorial.html
On 22 September, the State Duma will consider on first reading amendments to the law “On freedom of conscience and religious association,” submitted by the government. The document has received contradictory reviews already in the stage of discussion. Some in the State Duma consider that the new rules will permit shielding citizens from extremism and improve the effectiveness of monitoring religious life.
19.09.20 – Russian Bible Society feels harassed
Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/233056/
The head of the council of the Chertanovo Central district of Moscow sent to the Russian Bible Society on 16 September an order by 21 September (that is, in five days) “to carry out independently the demolition of objects” located on a plot of land rented by the society.
19.09.20 – Bible under threat
Link to full text in Russian: http://rbo.ru/news/show/?894
In the midst of the quarantine, the Russian Bible Society received a notification from the government of Moscow that our warehouses, in which about 150,000 books of Sacred Scripture are stored, will soon be demolished.
18.09.20 – Russian religions oppose changes in religion law
Link to full text in Russian: https://vz.ru/society/2020/9/18/458782.html
Next week will begin in the State Duma a consideration of amendments in the law “On freedom of conscience,” which, in the opinion of their initiators will prevent the appearance in Russia of religious extremists and protect the country from “religious neocolonialism.”
17.09.20 – Russian parliament considering changes in religion law
Link to full text in Russian: https://yandex.com/turbo/vz.ru/s/news/2020/9/17/1060894.html
“We understand that the amendments are aimed, in the first place, at combating extremism and terrorism on religious grounds, but the struggle with extremism and terrorism should be conducted without causing damage to confessions that are traditional for Russia.”
17.09.20 – Appeals court frees Jehovah’s Witness while retaining restrictions on activity
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4493822
The Penza oblast court mitigated the sentence for Penza resident Vladimir Alushkin, who was found guilty in December of last year of organizing an extremist religious congregation. According to the account of the investigation, Alushkin and his five supporters created in Penza the “Arbekovo. Penza” religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses (considered extremist and banned in the R.F.).
17.09.20 – Jehovah’s Witness held accountable for long past alleged indiscretions
Link to full text in Russian: https://rostof.ru/articles/v-rostove-za-pedofiliyu-osudili-svidetelya-iegovy
A resident of Rostov was found guilty of crimes against the sexual inviolability of minors and of participation in the activity of an extremist organization, the press service of the S.K.R.
16.09.20 – The appeal filed in the City of Penza reversed the prison sentence for Vladimir Alushkin. Six believers received a suspended sentence.
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2020/09/7.html
September 16, 2020 Penza Regional Court commuted the sentence of Vladimir Alushkin, replacing 6 years in prison with 4 years of suspended sentence.