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

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On June 10, 2019, Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova presented the Annual Report to the President of the Russian Federation. For the first time, she drew attention to the unjustified criminal prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, and also pointed out the root of the problem. She wrote: “These events suggest the existence of a conflict between the constitutional right to practice any religion individually or jointly with others and the signs of extremist activity specified in article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Vague criteria are not allowed for classifying religious materials as extremist, when virtually any federal judge, at his or her own discretion, can prohibit any book, image, video or audio recording."

Case of Christensen in Oryol

Oryol Region
Case number:
Current stage:
verdict took effect
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, together with the others he conducted religious services, which is interpreted as “organising the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the court’s decision on the liquidation of the local organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
Article of the Russian Criminal Code:
282.2 (1)
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Oryol Region
Case initiated:
23 May 2017

Number of the case in court: 1-37/1

Considering on the merits: Zheleznodorozhnyy District Court of the City of Oryol

Judge: Aleksei Nikolaevich Rudnev

Appellate Court: Oryol Regional Court

Persons in the case