A Series of Home Searches on the Island of Sakhalin

On January 20, 2019, special police forces conducted eleven searches in homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the towns of Nevelsk and Nogliki. This is the first raid after Vladimir Putin commented on the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “This is complete nonsense and it is necessary to deal with this attentively.”

Read more » Sakhalin Region

Follow the News From Russia in English

Starting January 22, 2019, the website will publish headlines and brief summaries of new items also in English simultaneously with the Russian. The full text of the news will be available only in Russian.

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Update on Date of Concluding Pleadings in Trial of Danish Citizen in Oryol

Concluding pleadings in the trial of Danish citizen in Oryol will begin on January 23, 2019 at 10:30. The prosecution will announce the sentence they are requesting be imposed on Dennis Christensen.

Read more » Oryol Region

Four Men Held in Pre-Trial Detention for Their Religious Beliefs Have Been Transferred to House Arrest

Vladimir Alushkin in Penza, Vitaliy Zhuk and Nikolay Polyevodov in Khabarovsk, and Valentin Osadchuk in Vladivostok have all been released from pre-trial detention.

Danish Believer Takes the Stand in the Case Against Him in Oryol

Dennis Christensen confirmed that he practices the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He analysed the motives imputed to him by the investigation, pointed out inconsistencies in the charges, exposed the secret witness for the prosecution and said that he was innocent.

Read more » Oryol Region

Concluding Pleadings in Trial of Danish Citizen in Oryol to Begin on January 21

The prosecution will announce the sentence they are requesting be imposed on the believer. After pleadings the court will retire to the deliberation room to render its verdict.

Read more » Oryol Region

A Record 269 Searches of Homes of Jehovah's Witnesses for the Year (Review)

According to available information, over the past 12 months 269 searches in the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses were conducted throughout Russia as a direct consequence of the ban on their activity. Any search turns the life of an innocent person into a nightmare, affecting health, causing deep emotional trauma, and undermining their reputation.

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Judges Around the Country Are Assigning Lighter Pre-Trial Preventive Measures

Measures have been reduced from prison detention to restrictions on various activities, and even just on travel, but believers still face the threat of up to 10 years in prison. Investigators demand the right to hold them under guard in failed attempts to force them into self-incrimination.

Moskalenko Versus Russia: a New Complaint Filed With the ECHR on Behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses

On December 18, 2018, a new complaint entitled “Moskalenko versus Russia” was submitted to the ECHR. The Strasbourg court has been asked to give this case priority handling in line with its policies.

In Kabardino-Balkaria a Court Sentenced a Peaceful Believer

The court believed the improbable: five witnesses for the prosecution who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses confessed to the mass distribution of religious literature under the personal direction of Arkadya Akopyan.

Read more » Kabardino-Balkaria

Human Rights Violations Against Believers in the Separatist Donetsk Region of Ukraine in 2018

Публикуются некоторые случаи нарушения прав верующих, которые произошли в 2018 году.

A Verdict in the Case of a 70-Year-Old Believer is Expected on December 27

A verdict in the case of Arkadi Akopyan will be announced in the Prokhladniy District Court. In its closing arguments the prosecutor requested 3 years of incarceration with a suspended sentence. The accused believer in his closing comments requested that he be fully exonerated.

Read more » Kabardino-Balkaria

An Overview of the Situation in the Separatist Donetsk Region of Ukraine

В течение 2018 года власти запретили организацию Свидетелей Иеговы, за верующими велась слежка, их вызывали на допросы и грозили арестами.

Witness in Prokhladniy Faces Three-Year Conditional Sentence

Oral arguments began on 21 December 2018 in Kabardino-Balkaria regarding 70-year-old Arkadya Akopyan, who is accused of violating Article 282(1) of the Russian Criminal Code. The prosecutor demands a conditional sentence of three years deprivation of liberty and two years’ probation.

Read more » Kabardino-Balkaria

Russia Files Observations With European Court in Glazov LRO and Others v. Russia

This application was filed on behalf of the 395 local religious organisations (LROs) that were liquidated by the Russian Supreme Court in April 2017 along with the Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

Read more » Moscow, France

Russia Rejects Witnesses’ Request for Compensation Before ECHR

The Russian government’s position in the international court blatantly contradicts its position in domestic court.

Read more » Moscow, France

Vladimir Putin: “Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Also Christians. I Don’t Understand Either Why They’re Being Persecuted”.

“This is complete nonsense. We have to investigate this carefully”, Vladimir Putin commented regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses being included on the list of extremist organisations.

Read more » Moscow

Witness Couple in Omsk Transferred to House Arrest After Five Months in Solitary Confinement

On 4 December 2018, Sergey and Anastasiya Polyakov were transferred to house arrest. The police tried to compel them to incriminate themselves and others. Neither the Polyakovs nor dozens of others imprisoned for their faith throughout Russia are going to make such a deal with investigators.

Read more » Omsk Region

Arrests, Searches and Criminal Case in Stavropol

On 9 December 2018 in Neftekumsk, eight searches were conducted, three people were sent to a detention centre and one was put on the wanted list. The reason? ‘They refused to renounce their religious views’.

Third Criminal Case in Kamchatka

On 2 December 2018 in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, armed police in masks raided one of the homes. Its occupants were suspected of reading the Bible. A criminal case was initiated against 44-year-old Sergey Ledenev, who signed an agreement restricting travel.