News

Conviction Upheld Against Second Witness by Oryol Court

On June 13, 2019, a panel of three judges from the Oryol Regional Court upheld the sentence of the lower court, in which Sergey Skrynnikov was heavily fined for his faith.                                                                                

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German Commissioner for Global Freedom of Religion Voices Concern Over Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

On May 24, 2019, Markus Grübel, the German Commissioner for Global Freedom of Religion, spoke in connection with the fact that the Russian appellate court upheld the sentence of Dennis Christensen.

Russian Ombudsperson Points to the Root of Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses

For the first time, Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova drew attention to the unjustified criminal prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, and also pointed out the root of the problem.

Reports of Mass Searches Come From the Bryansk Region

In the morning of June 11, 2019, in the towns of Unecha and Novozybkov (Bryansk Region), law enforcement officers raided the homes of local residents suspected of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Dennis Christensen Moved to Penal Colony in Kursk Region

Letters of support to Dennis Christensen can be sent to the Penal Colony #3 in the Kursk Region.

In Ussuriysk, Witness Sent to Jail for Two Months

On June 5, 2019, in Ussuriysk, local resident Sergey Melnikov, 46, was arrested and sent to a detention center for two months. This becomes at least the seventh criminal case against Jehovah's Witnesses in the Primorye Territory.

Two More Witnesses Detained in Rostov-on-Don

On the morning of June 10, 2019, Ruslan Alyev, 32, was detained for 48 hours at his home in Rostov-on-Don. A few hours later it was learned that Semen Baybak, 22, also was detained. A criminal case targeting their faith was initiated.

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.

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.