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


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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.

https://wordandway.org/2021/03/01/first-jehovahs-witness-woman-sentenced-in-russia-after-faith-declared-extremist/

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