News

In Kabardino-Balkaria, Arson Attack on Empty Worship House of Jehovah’s Witnesses

On the evening of June 2, 2019, in Prokhladny, attackers set fire to an empty building in which Jehovah's Witnesses used to hold meetings. Three sources of ignition were discovered.

UN Group Condemns Russia’s Abuse of Jehovah’s Witnesses

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has categorically condemned the arrests of Jehovah’s Witnesses and demanded that Russia immediately free the worshippers. We publish the whole document in Russian.

In Crimea, a Raid on Jehovah's Witnesses and Detention

On the evening of June 4, 2019, the FSB conducted searches of at least nine houses of local Witnesses. Viktor Stashevsky, 52, was detained and a criminal case was initiated against him.

Read more » Sevastopol

Already 12 Months Behind Bars in Tomsk, One of Jehovah's Witnesses Still Awaits Trial

June 3, 2019, marks exactly one year since a raid was carried out in Tomsk. Local Jehovah's Witnesses, including an 83-year-old woman, were taken out of their homes for interrogation. The court ordered Sergey Klimov held in Detention Center No. 1 in the Tomsk Region. On May 28, 2019, the court once again extended his detention.

In Dagestan, Three Men and One Woman Jailed Following FSB Home Invasions

On June 3, 2019, the court in the city of Makhachkala sent to jail for two months Arsen Abdullayev, 40; Maria Karpova, 38; Anton Dergalev, 34; and Marat Abdulgalimov, 27. Two days earlier, FSB officers in masks with machine guns invaded about 10 homes of  local Jehovah's Witnesses.

Read more » Daghestan

What Dennis Christensen Revealed in His Last Words Before the Appeal Court

On May 23, 2019, Dennis Christensen had his last chance to reach the conscience of those on whom his freedom depended. We publish in Russian an excerpt from remarks he delivered during the appeal hearing in Oryol Regional Court.

In Kirov, New Criminal Case for Faith Follows Search

On May 24, 2019, police in Kirov searched the home of Anatoliy Tokarev, 60, leading to criminal charges under the article "Organization of extremist activities" for "joint singing of biblical songs ... in his apartment." He had to promise to appear for interrogation.

Number of Jehovah's Witnesses Under Criminal Prosecution Reaches 200

As of May 24, 2019, 43 women and 157 men across Russia are being prosecuted in connection with the ban imposed on the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. Exactly half of the victims—100 people—were sent to Russian prisons.

Read more » Moscow

Three Witnesses Went to Jail in Rostov-on-Don

On May 22, 2019, Aleksandr Parkov, 51, Arsen Avanesov, 35, and his father, Vilen Avanesov, 66, were detained for 48 hours. The court is tentatively due to rule on a restraining order Friday, May 24.

Appeal Court Upholds Decision to Imprison Dennis Christensen

A panel of three judges upheld the decision to imprison a Danish Jehovah’s Witness for 6 years. He has been declared an extremist and has already been held behind bars for almost two years.

Raids on Jehovah's Witnesses in the City of Rostov-on-Don

On May 22, 2019, at least 15 apartments of Jehovah's Witnesses were invaded by law enforcement officers in Rostov-on-Don.

In Smolensk, Two More Women Imprisoned for Faith

On May 18, 2019, the court imposed two months of confinement on Valentina Vladimirova, 63, and Tatyana Galkevich. They became the seventh and eighth defendants in Smolensk. In April 2019, four men were jailed. Before that, Maria Troshina and Natalia Sorokina spent 191 days behind bars there.

In Volgograd, Four Believers to Be Imprisoned Two Months

On May 18, 2019, the Central District Court of Volgograd decided on a jail term of  two months for Igor Egozaryan, Sergey Melnik, Vyacheslav Osipov and Valeriy Rogozin, who were detained earlier.

In Saratov, Believers Freed After Almost a Year Behind Bars

Konstantin Bazhenov, Aleksey Budenchuk and Feliks Makhammadiyev were released after 11 months in a Saratov jail. They are still accused of organizing extremist activities, but the preventive measure for them has been changed.

In Volgograd, Mass Detentions for Faith

On May 16, 2019, at least five believers in Volgograd were detained for 48 hours after their apartments were searched. All detainees are men, one of them 57 years old.

Final Statement Due May 23 in Christensen Appeal

Oryol Regional Court on May 23, 2019, is scheduled to hear defendant Dennis Christensen deliver a final statement in his appeal, after which the three-judge panel will retire for sentencing. Closing arguments took place May 16, with foreign diplomats, journalists, and numerous members of the public in attendance.

Prosecutor’s Office in Perm Indicts Aleksandr Solovyov

On May 6, 2019, Aleksander Deryshov, the Deputy Prosecutor of the Perm Territory, signed a final document in which investigators summarized the charge against Perm resident Aleksandr Solovyov, 48, who is suspected of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The case goes to court.

What Has Changed in the Religious Life of Russia After the Jailing of Dennis Christensen?

In the three months after the sentence imposed on Dennis Christensen, similar cases were initiated in 25 cities of Russia, 74 people became accused or suspected, 28 of them were thrown in jail (for some of them, that preventive measure was softened later), and 141 families were searched in their homes.

In Omsk, a New Wave of Searches in the Homes of Witnesses

On May 8, 2019, approximately five houses were searched in the framework of a criminal case against Sergey and Anastasiya Polyakov.

Concluding Statements in Christensen Appeal Due May 16

Lawyers for Dennis Christensen will summarize their arguments during the debate in Oryol Regional Court.