RUSSIA: Special bimonthly on freedom of religion or belief (16-31.03.2021)
01.04.21 – St. Petersburg court bans mobile app of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
St. Petersburg, April 1, Interfax – The Oktyabrsky District Court of St. Petersburg has declared as extremist the mobile app JW Library of the religious organization Jehovah’s Witnesses , banned in Russia, and prohibited its distribution in the territory of Russia, the press service for the city prosecutor’s office said.
31.03.21 – Peaceful Believer Oleg Danilov in Krasnodar territory sentenced to 3 years in prison for religious beliefs
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/22.html
On March 30, 2021, Olga Khomchenkova, judge of the Abinsky District Court of the Krasnodar Territory, announced the verdict to Jehovah’s Witness Oleg Danilov: 3 years in a general regime colony for his faith. He was found guilty of participation in the activities of an “extremist” organization.
30.03.21 – CRIMEA: Longest jail term so far
Of the four jail terms handed down in Crimea to punish the exercise of freedom of religion or belief, 54-year-old Jehovah’s Witness Viktor Stashevsky received the longest so far. A Sevastopol court jailed him on 29 March for six and a half years, with a further seven years under restrictions, which are due to end in 2034.
29.03.21 – In Crimea, the harshest sentence for faith in Jehovah was passed: Viktor Stashevsky was sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/20.html
On March 29, 2021, the judge of the Gagarinsky District Court of Sevastopol, Pavel Kryllo, found Jehovah’s Witness Viktor Stashevskiy guilty of organizing the activities of an extremist community (part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and sentenced him to 6.5 years in a general regime colony.
29.03.21 – Appeal in Rostov-on-Don upheld the verdict of Semyon Baybak, convicted of faith
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/19.html
On March 29, 2021, the Rostov Regional Court confirmed the sentence to Semyon Baybak in the form of 3.5 years of suspended sentence. The Rostov resident was found guilty of extremism for peaceful religious beliefs. The verdict entered into force, but it can be appealed in cassation and in international instances.
29.03.21 – Four Jehovah’s Witnesses detained in Sochi, among them a woman
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/18.html
On March 24, 2021, 4 believers were detained and placed in a temporary detention center in Sochi. Two days later, the court ruled to detain 54-year-old Vladimir Deshko and 48-year-old Tatyana Velizhanina in jail. 54-year-old Yuriy Logininskiy and 56-year-old Yuriy Moskalyov were placed under house arrest.
24.03.21 – Dennis Christensen can now receive letters in three languages
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/17.html
On March 18, 2021, it became known that Dennis Christensen had the opportunity to receive letters also in English and Danish, in addition to Russian. Dennis is thrilled with this opportunity as he receives dozens of letters every day.
24.03.21 – A Komsomolsk-on-Amur prosecutor requested a six-years penal colony for believer Nikolay Aliyev
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/16.html
On March 23, 2021, during the debate in the Tsentralny District Court of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the prosecutor asked the court to send 42-year-old Nikolai Aliyev to a general regime colony for 6 years, followed by restraint of freedom for 2 years. His only “fault” is that he professes the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
23.03.21 – A Sevastopol prosecutor is demanding a seven-year imprisonment for Viktor Stashevskiy charging him for believing in Jehovah God
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/15.html
On March 22, 2021, during the debate in the Gagarinskiy District Court of Sevastopol, the prosecutor requested a sentence of 7 years in prison for the 54-year-old Viktor Stashevskiy. On March 29, the believer will deliver the last word, after which the court can pronounce a sentence on him.
23.03.21 – A Rostov-on-Don appeals court upheld Galina Parkova’s guilty conviction for practicing her faith
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/14.html
On March 22, 2021, the Rostov Regional Court considered the complaint of Galina Parkova against the verdict of the lower court. She asked to be found not guilty of committing a crime under the article “participation in the activities of a prohibited organization”. But the appellate panel upheld the verdict.
22.03.21 – A Taganrog home of one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who previously served more than five years of probation for practicing his faith, was searched again
On March 20, 2021, the police searched the home of 58-year-old Taganrog-based Aleksandr Skvortsov, having previously placed his home under audio surveillance. Approximately ten years ago, the security forces already invaded the home of this peaceful believer. At that time, he endured exhausting court hearings and served a suspended sentence.
16.03.21 – The Jewish Autonomous Region court confirmed Yevgeniy Golik’s conviction of a two-and-a-half year probation for discussing the Bible
Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/03/10.html
On March 16, 2021, the Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region, having considered Evgeniy Golik’s appeal against the verdict of the Birobidzhan District Court, left the suspended sentence – 2.5 years – unchanged. The verdict entered into force, but can be appealed at the cassation instance.