Jump to content
The World News Media

First Jehovah’s Witness Woman Sentenced in Russia After Faith Declared ‘Extremist’


Recommended Posts

  • Member

RNS) — A female Jehovah’s Witness has been sentenced to two years in a Russian prison for practicing her faith, marking the first time the country has imprisoned a woman since a 2017 ruling that declared the faith group “extremist.” Valentina Baranovskaya, 69, was sentenced Wednesday (Feb. 24) along with her son, Roman Baranovskiy, 46, who received a six-year sentence.

“Today, Judge Elena Shcherbakova ruthlessly imprisoned a harmless, elderly woman and her son on baseless charges,” said Jarrod Lopes, spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The ruling was a mockery of the rule of law — both international human rights law as well as Russia’s constitution, which protects religious freedom.”

In October, a Jehovah’s Witness named Yuriy Zalipayev was acquitted and shortly afterward six other members of the faith were given suspended sentences by a different judge.

    Hello guest!

ezgif.com-gif-maker-37.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Views 110
  • Replies 1
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

  • Similar Content

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
      On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
      Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.    
      The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
      The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
      Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
      «It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper.
      «Many dozens at least are still to come,» he said.
      Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
      «Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small.»
      Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
      In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
      Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.   
      Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and  a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefor is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      More than 200 Jehovah's Witnesses - a religious organization banned in Russia - have applied for asylum in Finland. More than 100 members of this organization have arrived in the European country only so far in 2018. According to Juha Simila, representative of the Finnish migration service, about 10 cases have been analyzed so far and, in most of them, Finland rejected the asylum application. Simila explained to the Finnish newspaper Aamulehti that some denials have been appealed to the court and that in one of the cases the negative decision of the migration service has already been confirmed.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      Two years ago, Russian activist Vladimir Kara-Murza pointed out that Vladimir Putin’s Russia had more political prisoners than the USSR did when Andrey Sakharov began calling attention to them in the USSR in 1976 (rferl.org/a/activist-number-of-political-prisoners-in-russia-twice-what-it-was-in-ussr/30048022.html).
      In period since Kara-Murza made that calculation, Ellen Leafstedt of St. Antony’s College in Oxford says, the numbers of political prisoners in Russia have only increased and indeed continue to rise. In an article for the Riddle portal, she suggests that it is important to recognize their diversity (ridl.io/ru/nakazanie-bez-prestuplenija/).
      One can divide them into two categories, “people who land in prison for public expression of their political convictions and those who represent minorities who are deprived of their freedom for religious affiliations and convictions. The latter category is the more numerous, Leafstedt says.
      Among the most numerous of the second category are those charged with terrorism for their affiliation with groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir. Rapidly growing in number are Jehovah’s Witnesses whose denomination the Russian Supreme Court declared to be an extremist organization.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      Russian authorities opened a criminal case this week against five Jehovah’s Witnesses on suspicion of “organizing and participating in the activities of an extremist organization” for allegedly promoting their namesake religious group, which is officially outlawed as an “extremist ideology” in Russia.
      Russia’s Investigative Committee, its main federal investigating body, announced the criminal case in a statement issued March 4.
      Five residents of the city of Syktyvkar, in Russia’s northwestern Komi Republic, allegedly “carried out active organizational actions aimed at continuation of the organization’s illegal activities and the involvement of new participants in it” over a four-year period between 2017 and 2021.
      “In particular, acting in secrecy, they carried out general management of the organization’s activities, coordinated illegal activities, organized and held meetings of members of a banned organization, and collected funds to finance the activities of a banned extremist organization,” according to the statement.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Anna
      In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
      NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here:
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
      They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
      The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
      "They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
      She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
      Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
      "We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
      One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
       
      THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
      On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
      Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
      Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
       Source: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       
    • By Isabella
      Russian authorities have detained and placed under house arrest a Jehovah’s Witness in Siberia amid a continued crackdown on the religious group, which was labeled as extremist and banned in the country in 2017.
      The Investigative Committee said in a statement on February 17 that a 53-year-old resident of the town of Belovo in the Kemerovo region was placed under house arrest on suspicion of organizing a Jehovah’s Witnesses "cell."
      The man, whose identity was not disclosed, refused to cooperate with investigators citing Article 51 of the Russian Constitution, the statement said, adding that the suspect had been apprehended after the homes of several alleged members of the banned group were searched in the region.
      Article 51 states that no one shall be obliged to give incriminating evidence.
      The announcement came a week after a court in Russia's Krasnodar region sentenced a 63-year-old Jehovah's Witness, Aleksandr Ivshin, to 7 1/2 years in prison, the harshest sentence since authorities launched the campaign against the religious group.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      Six Jehovah's Witnesses jailed on "extremism"-related charges applied for early release after serving half their jail terms, but have been unsuccessful. Prison administrations opposed the applications with what Jehovah's Witnesses describe as "fabricated evidence" of violations of prison rules. Four of the prisoners were accused of smoking in the wrong place, but Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke. Another Jehovah's Witness jailed since 2018 and a Muslim reader of Nursi's works jailed since 2017 should both become eligible to apply in summer 2021.
      Six Jehovah's Witnesses jailed on "extremism"-related charges for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief have so far failed in their applications for early release. On the fourth attempt, a court commuted the rest of Dennis Christensen's jail term to a fine, but this was overturned after prosecutors appealed and he remains in jail. Four jailed Jehovah's Witnesses from Saratov have similarly failed in their appeals for early release, while a fifth is still awaiting a hearing. Read more: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      ussian security services raided the homes of several Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow on Wednesday, in an ongoing crackdown on the US-based religious movement.
      Moscow outlawed the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2017, labelling it an extremist organization and has since sentenced several members to lengthy jail terms.
      The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said on Wednesday several "organizers and members" had been detained.
      Prosecutors, the FSB security services and the national guard carried out searches at 16 addresses, the committee said.
      Investigators said the Jehovah's Witnesses had established a branch in the capital where "secret meetings" were convened to study "religious literature".
      Jarrod Lopes, a New York-based spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses, said the raids "are further proof that Russia is reverting to its muscle memory of Soviet repression".
      He added that they were a new escalation in the crackdown, as most of the raids on the believers had previously taken place in regions outside the Russian capital.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      A court in southern Russia has handed the country's longest prison sentence yet to an elderly Jehovah’s Witness leader for organizing an “extremist” group, the religious organization said Wednesday.
      Authorities accused Alexander Ivshin, 63, of organizing the activities of a banned organization, including hosting Bible discussions with friends via video link, until his April 2020 detention as part of mass raids in the Krasnodar region. Russia outlawed the Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists” in 2017.
       
      Alexander Ivshin, 63, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for activities including hosting Bible discussions via video link.
       

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian law enforcement detained a number of Jehovah's Witnesses and conducted searches at 16 different addresses in Moscow on Wednesday as part of a new criminal investigation against the group, state investigators said.
      The Investigative Committee, which handles probes into major crimes, said the people had been detained for organising and taking part in the activities of a banned religious group.
      It said they had met in a flat in northern Moscow and studied the teachings of the religion despite being aware of the ban on the group's activities.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      f 21 Jehovah's Witnesses convicted of "extremism" charges since late July 2020, six were given jail terms and 13 suspended sentences. Receiving a suspended sentence means a convicted person must live under restrictions specified by the judge, regularly register with probation authorities, and avoid conviction for any other offence during the probationary period or risk being sent to prison. "A suspended sentence means that you need to live under stress for many years," Jehovah's Witnesses note.
      A total of 21 Jehovah's Witnesses have been convicted of "extremism" charges since late July 2020. They include the oldest Jehovah's Witness yet to be found guilty of alleged extremism offences (at the age of 73). Among the punishments imposed are both the largest fine and the longest suspended sentences since prosecutions began following the 2017 liquidation of the Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre.
       
      Six of the 21 have received jail terms. The four defendants in one case in Bryansk Region will not be imprisoned as they had already served the time in pre-trial detention. Two men in another case in Kemerovo Region, however, will spend more than a year in jail if their appeal is unsuccessful.

      Thirteen of the 21 have received suspended sentences, most recently Sergey Ledenyov in Kamchatka on 24 November. The two others were given large fines (see below).

      Although not enough cases have ended to draw any definitive conclusions, it appears that, in 2020, courts have been moving towards suspended sentences for Jehovah's Witnesses, although prosecutors continue to request real prison terms in most cases. It remains unclear why this might be.

      Receiving a suspended sentence means that a convicted person is not imprisoned, but must live under a set of restrictions specified by the judge, regularly register with probation authorities, and avoid conviction for any other offence during the probationary period or risk being sent to prison (see below).

      The 21 individuals convicted since July are among more than 400 Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslim readers of theologian Said Nursi's works who have been convicted, are on trial, or remain under investigation across Russia, mostly on accusations of "organising" or "participating in the activities of a banned extremist organisation".

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      Moscow — Russian authorities have carried out dozens of raids and detained several people as they pursue a new criminal case accusing the country's Jehovah's Witnesses of extremism, the national Investigative Committee said Tuesday. The Christian denomination is suspected of illegally resuming its work in Russia despite an official ban.
      The country's Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the group, founded in the United States and claiming almost 9 million followers globally, was an "extremist" organization and ordered it to disband. The decision led to the conviction of scores of followers across the country.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      UNITED NATIONS, November 18. /TASS/. The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly has Wednesday adopted the Ukraine-sponsored resolution condemning alleged human rights violations in Crimea, as the resolution was supported by 63 countries, 85 abstained and 22 opposed it. The document has been considered annually since 2016 and is not mandatory.
      The resolution in particular calls on Russia "to take all measures necessary to bring an immediate end to all violations and abuses against residents of Crimea." The document notes "discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions and arrests, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, including to compel apprehended persons to self-incriminate or ‘cooperate’ with law enforcement" among these abuses.
      Moscow is urged "to repeal laws imposed in Crimea by the Russian Federation that allow for forced evictions and the confiscation of private property, including land in Crimea, in violation of applicable international law."
      The resolution also calls on Russia "to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief and guarantee its enjoyment by all residents of Crimea, including but not limited to parishioners of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Muslim Crimean-Tatars and Jehovah’s Witnesses."
       
      Russia’s response
       
      Russia’s deputy permanent envoy Gennady Kuzmin said that "the resolution co-authors had been trying to punish Crimea’s population for their free choice in favor of Russia by shedding "crocodile tears" about Crimeans."
      Full article here: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      Prisoners of conscience Jehovah's Witnesses Sergei Filatov and Artyom Gerasimov are being denied letters sent to them. Muslim prisoner of conscience Renat Suleimanov is being denied letters sent in his own language of Crimean Tatar. He has been held for ten months in Kamenka Labour Camp's closed zone, in a cell holding 10 prisoners, but may be released in December. All were transferred illegally to jails in Russia.
      One of the three Crimean prisoners of conscience jailed in Russian labour camps for exercising freedom of religion and belief in Crimea is expected to complete his prison term at the end of December, more than three years after his October 2017 arrest. Muslim prisoner of conscience Renat Suleimanov has spent the ten months since January 2020 in the closed zone ("strict detention conditions") of Kamenka Labour Camp in Russia's Kabardino-Balkariya Republic.
       
      "If the labour camp has about 1,000 prisoners, the closed zone has about 10, and they are held all in one cell," relatives of Suleimanov told Forum 18. "It's like a prison within a prison." A labour camp official would not explain why Suleimanov is held in the closed zone (see below).

      Visits from relatives and friends is made difficult by the Russian authorities having moved Suleimanov so far from his home, against the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (known as the Mandela Rules – A/C.3/70/L.3) (see below).

      Letters from relatives have been handed on after being censored, but only if they are in Russian. Letters in the Crimean Tatar language are not given to Suleimanov, but he does have access to a copy of the Koran and can pray openly (see below).

      One of the two cases Suleimanov's lawyer lodged to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is about the illegal transfer to a Russian prison (see below).

      Even once he completes his prison term, Suleimanov will have to live under restrictions for another year, while his bank accounts will remain blocked for many more years (see below).

      "It is difficult for Renat's mother, who is in her eighties," one of Suleimanov's relatives told Forum 18. "She survived the deportation of all the Crimean Tatars [in 1944] and then to have this at the end of her life." She last met her son in a meeting in the Investigator's office in the Crimean capital Simferopol in summer 2018 (see below).

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      More than 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been charged or convicted in Russia since the country banned the religious group as an “extremist” organization three years ago, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia has said.
      Since the April 2017 ban by Russia’s Supreme Court, law enforcement officers raided the homes of 1,166 worshippers’ families, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said
      Authorities have opened 175 criminal cases into “extremism” against worshippers as of late October 2020, with 148 of them still in progress, the Christian denomination said on its website. 
      More than half of the 400 worshippers spent between several days to three years in detention while awaiting trial. Some 310 have lost their jobs, businesses, pensions and bank accounts as a result of the “extremist” label.
      Four Jehovah’s Witnesses have died while under investigation.

      The Jehovah's Witnesses religious group has been banned in Russia as an "extremist" organization since April 2017

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      The St. Petersburg prosecutor's office filed a lawsuit demanding that the JW Library application of Jehovah's Witnesses be declared extremist on Google Play and the App Store. This was reported by the press service of city courts.
      The claim was accepted for production by the Oktyabrsky District Court.
      As indicated in the lawsuit, the JW Library publishes literature recognized as extremist in Russia. This application is copyrighted by the Pennsylvania Watchtower and Tract Society. The Russian court considered this organization to be the leading one in relation to Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Application developer - Jehovah's Witnesses ("Jehovah's Witnesses"). The lawsuit noted that the developer's website www.jw.org was banned in Russia and recognized as extremist.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      A Russian judge on Friday imposed an eight-year suspended prison sentence for a 24-year-old Jehovah’s Witness and a seven-year suspended sentence for his 27-year-old wife, capping a week that marked some relief amid continued persecution for the faith in Russia.
      An international spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses expressed gratitude that “this young couple will not need to be separated by prison bars” after the judge’s decision in Kostroma, 200 miles northeast of Moscow. The conviction comes a day after another judge in Ulyanovsk, on the Volga River, convicted six members of the persecuted faith. Those sentences were also suspended.
      “We are pleased that they were not imprisoned. Yet it remains a gross injustice for them to be convicted simply for their peaceful Christian worship,” said Jarrod Lopes, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, in a statement.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      (RNS) — A day after a Jehovah’s Witness became the first to be acquitted in Russia since a 2017 ruling declared his faith group “extremist,” six Russian members received suspended sentences for gathering for worship.
      The developments come a week after dozens of scholars from across the globe called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      The pacifist faith organization said six men and women were given suspended sentences ranging from 2 ½ to four years; in addition, they were given orders of “restricted freedom” from seven to 10 months in a court in the western city of Ulyanovsk. Freedom restrictions can include limitations on where they can travel and with whom they can associate.
      “We are pleased that they were not imprisoned, yet it remains a gross injustice for them to be convicted simply for their peaceful Christian worship,” said Jarrod Lopes, spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in a Thursday (Oct. 😎 statement.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      When the knock came at the door at six in the morning, Sergei and Maria Silaev feared the worst.
      The couple first thought it was the Russian police, coming to arrest them for being Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      But it was the upstairs neighbour, telling them there was a water leak above their apartment.
      They were relieved, but after that had many anxious nights. "I couldn’t sleep," said Maria. From that moment on they knew they needed to leave Russia.
      The Silaevs life changed in 2017 when the Russian Supreme Court labelled their church an extremist organization and banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations and gatherings in that country — a ruling that forced them, and other members, to go underground and meet in secret in their homes.
      Although no official reasons have been given for the persecution, it could be because members of the church are pacifist, refuse to serve in the military, don’t vote, and won’t salute the flag or take part in other nationalistic displays of loyalty.
      According to Human Rights Watch, Russian authorities have carried out at least 780 house raids since 2017 in more than 70 towns and cities across Russia.
      Altogether, more than 300 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been charged, are on trial, or have been convicted of criminal "extremism" for practising their faith. At least 32 are in prison, with sentences ranging from two to six years for leading or participating in church meetings. There are allegations of torture.
      "For Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, practising their faith means risking their freedom," said Rachel Denber, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for Europe and Central.
      The Silaevs decided not to wait to see if they would be added to the list of the accused and arrested.
      In January they came to Canada as tourists, seeking refugee status after arriving. Soon after, they moved to Winnipeg to await a verdict on their claim. Speaking through a translator over Zoom, they shared their story with me.
      The Silaevs who have no children, lived in Tver, a city of about 400,000 people 200 kilometres north of Moscow. Sergei, 29, worked as a maintenance supervisor; Maria, 27, was a hairdresser and also helped her husband in his work.
      The effects of the persecution were felt gradually, they said, starting with a ban on the New World Translation, the version of the Bible used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The couple got rid of their printed version, but kept a copy on their computer.
      This made Maria sad. "I enjoyed turning the pages and reading it," she said of her physical copy of the Bible.
      Then there was a ban on door-to-door and street witnessing — a hallmark of the church, in that country and around the world.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      A day after the Russian FSB carried out armed searches in occupied Sevastopol, four Jehovah’s Witnesses have been arrested and remanded in custody for two months.  Although Yevhen Zhukov; Volodymyr Maladyka; Volodymyr Sakada and Ihor Schmidt are accused of ‘organizing the work of an extremist organization’ (under Article 282.2 § 1 of Russia’s criminal code), the charges pertain solely to their peaceful practising of their faith, and all are undoubtedly political prisoners.
      Early on 1 October, the FSB and other enforcement officers burst into the homes of nine Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sevastopol.  Five people were detained – the men now in custody and Volodymyr Maladyka’s wife, Natalya.  She was later released, and for the moment has ‘witness status’. She later told Graty that her husband rejects the charges and calls the search of their home unlawful.  She is planning to appeal against her husband’s detention.  Zhukov was identified on Russian official documents in 2015 as the head of the ‘local Christian religious organization the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sevastopol’.  This was one of two Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations in occupied Sevastopol that were forcibly dissolved after Russia reverted to Soviet repressive ways and banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses on 20 April 2017. 
      A similar ‘operation’ took place in the evening of 4 June 2019, with at least nine homes targeted then also.  On that occasion, 52-year-old Viktor Stashevsky was arrested.  He was released from custody the following day, but charged under Article 282.2, part 1 – organizing what Russia calls an ‘extremist organization’.
      His ‘case’ was passed to a Russian-controlled court in Crimea on 23 February 2020.  The indictment claims that Stashevsky was “the ideological force behind an extremist organization” and that he “deliberately undertook active measures of an organizational nature in order to continue the unlawful actives of an extremist organization banned by a court.”
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      A group of 50 religion scholars from around the world is calling on President Vladimir Putin and his administration to end the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
      The scholars' statement, released Thursday, follows the Center for Studies on New Religions’ one-day conference, “Jehovah’s Witnesses and Their Opponents: Russia, the West, and Beyond,” held online from Vilnius, Lithuania, in early September.
      “As institutions and individuals concerned with religious freedom, we have followed the events in Russia with increasing alarm,” the CESNUR statement reads.
      Among those events is a reported armed raid of 110 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’s Voronezh region in July that the scholars call the “largest number of coordinated raids on Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern Russia” and an “escalation” in the persecution of Witnesses in the country.
      More than 170 Jehovah’s Witnesses have reportedly been imprisoned or put in pre-trial detention in Russia since 2017 for practicing their faith.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      The report details human rights violations in Crimea by the Russian occupying power against Crimean Tatars, including torture, forced confessions and the suppression of religious practice for several groups, including Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and Messianic groups.
      Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Emine Dzhaparova corroborates the U.N. report. As a Crimean Tartar herself, she is particularly critical of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and of its alleged repressive actions to shut down the voices of dissent.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      September 17, 2020 (Family Research Council) — When Seo Jin Wook met with a small group in a private home in Izhevsk, Russia to share the gospel with them, he had no idea it would lead to his deportation and an approximately $400 fine by the Russian government. Yet, under a so-called "anti-extremism" law passed in 2016, this is the new normal for religious people in Russia looking to share their faith.
      The vague nature of the law means anyone is at risk of violating it.
      Earlier this month, Nikita Glazunov was fined by a court in Kazan, Russia for organizing a Catholic Mass in a hotel conference hall. He was charged in part for inviting what the court called a "foreign preacher" to celebrate Mass without written authorization to engage in missionary activity.
      Glazunov is one of at least 42 people who have been prosecuted for missionary activity in Russia in the first half of 2020 alone.
      Russia's consistent violations of religious freedom drew the attention of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in a hearing on Wednesday. USCIRF has recommended that Russia be designated a Country of Particular Concern by the State Department this year due to the country's repressive policies.
      Unfortunately, the legacy of the Soviet Union's attitude toward religious groups lingers in contemporary Russia. At the hearing, Elizabeth Clark described the Russian government's attitude toward religions by saying the "Soviet-era view of religion as permissible so long as it supports the state continues..."
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Srecko Sostar
      3) We do not lobby, vote in political elections, run for government office, or try to change governments. …Otherwise, how could we have a clean conscience when we preach the good news that only God’s Kingdom can solve mankind’s problems? source: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      lobby verb [ I or T ]  UK  /ˈlɒb.i/ US  /ˈlɑː.bi/
      C2 to try to persuade a politician, the government, or an official group that a particular thing should or should not happen, or that a law should be changed:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Recent example how WT Company and JW members participated in "lobbying" was writing letters to Russian Government and their politicians. 
    • By ARchiv@L
      The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants to heighten attention to this critical situation,” states David A. Semonian, a spokesman at the Witnesses’ world headquarters
       
    • By Isabella
      Acourt in Russia has convicted and fined a Jehovah's Witnesses follower amid growing global concern over a campaign of persecution in the country against adherents of the religion.
      Russia's Supreme Court ruled the religion as an extremist organization in April 2017 and since then, the group has complained that authorities have raided more than 1,000 properties of its followers. There are 372 believers under criminal investigation and 43 people are in prison—including 10 who have been convicted of extremism.
      Yevgeniy Spirin, 34, had spent 160 days in pretrial detention and had been under house arrest from July 5, 2019, before his sentence was handed down on Tuesday on charges of organizing the activities of an extremist organization.
      The Furmanovsky City Court in the Ivanovo Region convicted Spirin and fined him 500,000 Russian rubles ($6,920). Spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jarrod Lopes, said the conviction was "in complete disregard for the religious freedom enshrined in Russia's Constitution."

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned about the situation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian Federation. As we said on 12 March, the ruling of the Russian Supreme Court in July 2017, which rejected the appeal against the decision to categorise Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists”, criminalised the peaceful worship of 175,000 Russian citizens and contravened the right to religious freedom that is enshrined in the Russian Constitution, and in multiple OSCE commitments.
      It is with deep regret that we learned that on 13 July, 110 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were simultaneously searched by Russian authorities in the cities of Voronezh and Stary Oskol. Thirteen Jehovah’s Witnesses were detained at the time and two individuals were reportedly beaten during a home search.
      The total number of homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses that have been searched by Russian law enforcement authorities now stands at over 1,000. As we noted in March, home raids are often conducted in the early hours of the morning by large numbers of masked and armed police.
      We repeat our concern that the increasing number of searches, as well as use of simultaneous large-scale home raids, creates the impression of an organised campaign of persecution against Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      So-called “evidence” used against those investigated and prosecuted includes regular aspects of communal religious life. We again remind the Russian Federation of our extensive commitments on freedom of religion or belief, including from Vienna 1989, as well as Kyiv 2013, where States committed to:
      Fully implement their commitments to ensure the right of all individuals to profess and practice religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, and in public or private, and to manifest their religion or belief through teaching, practice, worship and observance, including through transparent and non-discriminatory laws, regulations, practices and policies;
      For three years now, the delegation of the Russian Federation has assured the Permanent Council that individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are able to practice their religion at home, as no permission is required to pray in Russia. However, we have witnessed time and again that any manifestation of their faith by Jehovah’s Witnesses can result in the search of their homes, lengthy detention, criminal prosecution and imprisonment.
      We again call on the Russian Federation to end the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to uphold the commitments on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief for all individuals across the Russian Federation.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. #jwrussia
      #uk
       
    • By Isabella
      The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom publishes a document against Russian anti-cultist Alexander Dvorkin and his organization FECRIS, both supporters of religious persecution in China.
      On July 17, 2020, the USCIRF, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, unveiled a new document, whose title is “The  Anti-cult  Movement  and Religious  Regulation in Russia and the Former Soviet Union.” The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). Its Commissioners are appointed by the President and by Congressional leaders of both political parties. 
      The title may indicate that the document does not concern China, and in fact its main focus is Russia. However, there are three important connections between the new USCIRF report and China.
      First, the report offers a detailed and accurate analysis of the activities of Alexander Dvorkin, a Russian activist who has led for almost thirty years campaigns against religious movements he has labeled as “cults.” As the report documents, he has been instrumental in preparing the repression of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, and has attacked many other religious minorities. The USCIRF asks the government of the United States to “publicly censure Alexander Dvorkin and [his organization], the Saint Irenaeus of Lyon Information-Consultation Center (SILIC), for their ongoing disinformation campaign against religious minorities.”
      The report mentions Dvorkin’s activities outside of Russia. Although this part of his “disinformation campaigns” is not mentioned by the USCIRF, Dvorkin has regularly supported the CCP in its repression of movements labeled as xie jiao. Dvorkin went repeatedly to China and Hong Kong to offer his support to the persecution of Falun Gong, to deny that the CCP is harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, and to applaud the repression of The Church of Almighty God. In turn, the CCP has supported Dvorkin’s campaigns against the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, and “imported” them to China. While the CCP has introduced Dvorkin as an authoritative “Russian expert in sect studies,” the USCIRF report exposes him as a pseudo-expert “relying on discredited theories” and promoting religious intolerance and discrimination.
      Second, Dvorkin, as the USCIRF report notes, has been active internationally as vice-president of a transnational anti-cult organization known as FECRIS, the European Federation of Research and Information Centers on Sectarianism. FECRIS is also notorious for the support several of its members, in addition to Dvorkin, have offered to the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong in China. In turn, the CCP’s Anti-xie-jiao association has advertised and republished reports by the FECRIS against the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups. The more one investigates, the more one discovers a two-way relationship between FECRIS (and Dvorkin) and Chinese organizations who promote and justify the bloody persecution of Falun Gong, The Church of Almighty God, and other religious movements.
       
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       

    • By Isabella
      Russian authorities have detained a man in western Siberia “on suspicion of setting up a cell” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group, considered an “extremist” organization under Russian law, state-run news agency TASS reported on Wednesday.
      Police detained the man recently in Seversk, a town in western Siberia’s Tomsk region. Investigators say the man and others affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses “organized meetings in 2017-2020, disseminated ‘extremist’ literature, and recruited new members” to the organization.
      In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian Investigative Committee’s press service said:
      Investigators of the Russian Investigative Committee in the Tomsk Region based on the case files of the Federal Security Service and the Internal Affairs Ministry in the Tomsk Region opened a criminal case into … the activities of an extremist organization in the city of Seversk… The alleged organizer of the extremist organization’s activities was detained. He has been charged, the issue of choosing a restriction measure against him is being decided.
      #jwrussia
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By Isabella
      As part of the case, ten people are suspected of running a local religious organization affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses
      VORONEZH, July 15. /TASS/. The Leninsky District Court in the Central Russian city of Voronezh ruled to place in custody until September members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization, outlawed in Russia, the court’s press service said on Tuesday.
      "The court has chosen a pretrial custody for 1 month and 22 days, or until 03.09.2020 <...> as a measure of pretrial restraint for the individuals suspected of extremist activity," the statement says.
      As part of the case, ten people are suspected of running a local religious organization headlined ‘Tsentralnaya, Voronezh.’ The organization, active in Voronezh and surrounding districts, is a part of the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses, earlier deemed extremist and outlawed by the Russian Supreme Court.
      The suspects are aged between 24 and 56. They were detained after more than 110 searches, during which large amounts of books and other prohibited printing works were seized.
      On April 20, 2017, the Russian Supreme Court declared Jehovah’s Witnesses and all affiliated regional organizations an extremist organization. The organization’s activities are outlawed in Russia.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.