RUSSIA: Special bimonthly Freedom of religion or belief digest (01-15.09-2021)
RUSSIA: Special bimonthly FORB digest (01-15.09-2021)
14.09.21 – A new wave of searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place near the Chinese border in Russia
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/141137.html
On September 10, 2021, the Border Guard Department of the Federal Security Service of Russia in Primorye Territory conducted four searches in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses living near the Chinese border. It is not yet known whether a criminal case has been opened or whether the searches were conducted as part of operational and investigative activities.
12.09.21 – An appeal in the Amur region upheld the verdict on believer Konstantin Moiseenko — 6 years probation for convictions
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/091456.html
On September 9, 2021, the Amur Regional Court upheld the verdict of the first instance court. Jehovah’s Witness Konstantin Moiseyenko was sentenced to 6 years of conditional sentence with a following probation period of 4 years and an additional restriction of liberty for 1 year.
12.09.21 – In Birobidzhan Andrey Gubin, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is sentenced to 2 years and 6 months probation for faith in God
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/091608.html
On September 9, 2021, the judge of the Birobidzhan District Court, Yuliya Tsykina, sentenced 47-year-old Andrey Gubin to 2 years and 6 months of conditional sentence, 2 years of probation and 1 year of restraint of liberty. The believer immediately appealed against this decision.
10.09.21 – RUSSIA: suspended sentence, though she did “nothing apart from study Koran”
After a trial lasting more than six months, Naberezhnyye Chelny City Court in Tatarstan handed 63-year-old Nakiya Sharifullina a two-year suspended sentence on 31 August on “extremism” charges to punish her for meeting with others to study the works of Muslim theologian Said Nursi. The case followed police raids on the homes of 20 women in March 2020. Sharifullina, who has “a number of serious illnesses”, denied any guilt and insisted she had done “nothing apart from study the Koran”, her lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev noted. He has lodged an appeal. Seven Jehovah’s Witnesses have been given prison terms on extremism-related charges since late June.
08.09.21 – New case opened against Jehovah’s Witness in Cheliabinsk
Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=77777
A criminal case has been opened against a resident of Cheliabinsk oblast who is suspected of arranging the activity of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is forbidden in Russia, the press service of the regional investigation department of the S.K.R. reports.
07.09.21 – Prosecutor raises requested punishment for five Jehovah’s Witnesses
Link to full text in Russian: https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/367856/
In their final word, five Volgograd Jehovah’s Witnesses declared their innocence and asked the court to acquit them, attorney Roman Levin reported.
As Kavkazskii Uzel has written, on 10 December the court permitted the Volgograd Jehovah’s Witnesses to leave their housees but it left the prohibition on use of the telephone and internet. It is difficult for the defendants to find work while the investigation is going on, the wife of one of them explained.
07.09.21 – Reformed ex-con Jehovah’s Witness sentenced a second time
Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/EEuSLsv
On 6 September, the Sverdlovsk district court of Kostroma sentenced Jehovah’s Witness Dmitry Terebilov to three years in a high-security penal colony. OVD-Info was told this in the press service of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The 39-year-old Terebilov was found guilty on the basis of the article about participation in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2, article 282.2 of C.C.). According to the account of the investigation, he distributed literature that is included in the list of extremist materials.
07.09.21 – The appeal in Krasnoyarsk upheld the sentence to Andrey Stupnikov — the believer was sent to a colony for six years
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/071917.html
On September 7, 2021, the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court upheld the verdict of the first instance. Andrey Stupnikov, a 47-year-old engineer from Krasnoyarsk, will have to spend 6 years in a colony for his faith in Jehovah. Although the verdict has entered into force, the believer has the right to appeal against it in cassation and in international instances.
06.09.21 – The Court in Kostroma sentenced Dmitriy Terebilov to 3 years of a strict-regime colony for Bible discussions
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/061901.html
On September 6, 2021, judge of the Sverdlovsk District Court of Kostroma, Yekaterina Molodova, found 41-year-old Dmitry Terebilov guilty of extremism for talking about the Bible and sentenced him to 3 years in a maximum security colony. Before becoming a believer, Dmitry was already in prison, but thanks to the Bible he changed so much that he was released early.
04.09.21 – In Samara, church building being dismantled fell onto neighbouring house
Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/jEuDR3G
In the village of Mekhzavod in Samara, an emergency occurred. During the dismantling of an illegally built church building, a part of the wall collapsed onto a private house next door. The buildings stood quite near each other.
We recall that the “Good News” church, which is identified on Yandex maps as Catholic, belonged to a different confession. It was built by representatives of the “Pentecostals,” which is one of the religious denominations within protestantism.
03.09.21 – Appeals court reviews harsh sentences of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/IEuFw6m
The Amur oblast court reviewed the appeals of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Dmitry Golik and Aleksei Berchuk, who had been sentenced to 7 and 8 years in a prison colony respectively. OVD-Info was told this in the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The sentence of the 45-year-old Aleksei Berchuk—8 years in a penal colony of ordinary regime on a charge of arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of the C.C.)—was left without changes.
02.09.21 – Appeal in Khabarovsk upholds the verdict for faith to 42-year-old Nikolay Aliyev
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/09/021420.html
On September 2, 2021, the Khabarovsk Regional Court upheld the sentence for faith handed down to Nikolay Aliyev — 4.5 years of probation. The verdict entered into force, but it can be appealed in cassation and international instances.
Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website