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RUSSIA : Special Bimonthly FORB digest (16-30.09.2021)

28.09.2021 – Moscow officials demand from religious organizations information about priests trained abroad

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239090/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Head of the Department of National Policy and Interregional Relations of the city of Moscow Vitaly Suchkov sent a letter to religious organizations asking for data on clergy and employees of religious organizations trained abroad, reports on September 28 IAC “SOVA”, recognized by the Russian authorities as a foreign agent.

The letters were sent out in anticipation of the entry into force of the next amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations”.

25.09.2021 – Moscow 007s arrest 15 Taliban sympathisers

Four Tajiks and one Russian jailed; the others are being sent back to their countries of origin. According to the FSSB, they organised attacks “against the infidels”. Together with China and Pakistan, the Kremlin has opened a channel of dialogue with the Afghan Taliban: it could come to regret it.

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24.09.2021 – Six to six and a half years in prison for the faith. Court in Volgograd sentenced four of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/240821.html

On September 23, 2021, the Traktorozavodsky district court of Volgograd sentenced Valery Rogozin, Igor Yegozaryan, Sergey Melnik, and Denis Peresunko to long prison terms for praying and discussing the Bible with fellow believers. They were taken into custody and will be kept in pre-trial detention until the sentence comes into force.

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24.09.2021 – The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation declared Scientology an “undesirable organization”

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239055/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation declared the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises and the Ron Hubbard Library undesirable organizations. As “Forbes” reports on September 24, the corresponding statement was published in the telegram channel of the department.

23.09.2021 – From October 3, the state will be able to ban clergymen. Russian legislation on religion has reached the point of absurdity

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239040/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Another law, “On Amending the Federal Law ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,'” will take effect soon, on 3 October 2021. Religious groups resonated with one of its clauses requiring clergy and personnel of religious organizations to undergo obligatory re-evaluation in Russia after receiving religious education abroad.

23.09.2021 – Five Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to prison colony

Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/368386/

A court in Volgograd issued real prison terms to five Jehovah’s Witnesses, finding them guilty in a case regarding extremism. The defendants did not acknowledge guilt and they intend to appeal the verdict. Relatives of the convicts called the verdict expected.

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22.09.2021 – Pentecostal Bishop Albert Ratkin expelled from the Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith – Pentecostals after calling on the head of the Union to resign

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://credo.press/239038/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Pentecostal Bishop Albert Ratkin, who earlier made accusations against the leadership of the Russian United Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith – Pentecostals (ROSKhVE), was expelled from the union.

22.09.2021 – Believers’ wedding ceremony became an event for the detention center in the Town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk. How religious persecution breaks the lives of innocent people

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/221614.html

One of Jehovah’s Witness Yuriy Usanov, 29, of the town of Tayga, had his pleasant pre-wedding troubles suddenly ended when he was taken to the penitentiary in April 2021 for his faith. His fiancée, Irina Yagunova, was long denied visitation until they were married on September 9, 2021 – right in the jail.

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22.09.2021 – The Muslim religious group Jamaat Red Plowman was added to the Russian register of terrorist organizations

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://credo.press/239025/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation added the religious group Krasny Pakhar Jamaat to the register of terrorist organizations. The court ruling took effect on August 31.

Krasny Pakhar Jamaat became the 36th such group on the federal list of organizations declared terrorist groups in Russia.

 22.09.21 – Three-year-old case against Jehovah’s Witnesses delayed again

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/239017/

On 16 September, a Shuya city court of Ivanovo oblast returned to the prosecutor the case of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Dmitry and Elena Mikhailov, Svetlana Ryzhkova, Svetlana Shishinaia, and Aleksei Arkhipov. The court concluded that the indictment was composed with violations of the requirements of the Criminal Procedural Code, according to the SOVA Center for News and Analysis (which is considered by the authorities of the R.F. to be a foreign agent, but which challenges this decision).

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21.09.21 – Yet another prosecution of a Jehovah’s Witness

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=77836

Investigators in Tambov opened a criminal case against a man suspected of arranging the activity of a religious organization that is forbidden in the R.F., the “Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” the investigation department of the S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] for the region reports.

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21.09.2021 – Violent persecution mounting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russian-occupied Crimea

Serhiy Lyulin was seized by FSB officers while in Russia, thrown into the boot of a minivan and driven, in handcuffs and bound with scotch tape, for 16 hours to occupied Simferopol. He is one of an ever-increasing number of Crimean Jehovah’s Witnesses facing violent FSB ‘operations’ and imprisonment for worshipping together and discussing the Bible. Lyulin is now remanded in custody, in a ‘special bloc’ cell with world-respected Crimean Tatar leader and political prisoner Nariman Dzhelyal.

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16.09.21 – An appeal in Birobidzhan confirmed the verdict of Tatiana Zagulina. The believer was sentenced to 2.5 years of probation

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/161617.html

On September 16, 2021, the court of the Jewish Autonomous Region did not satisfy the appeal of 37-year-old Tatyana Zagulina. The verdict entered into force – the believer was assigned 2 years and 6 months of suspended sentence and 2 years of restriction of freedom.

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Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website

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