Banning of Publications

The Investigative Committee received materials on an "expert" who denigrates Jehovah's Witnesses


On February 7, 2017, an application was filed with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to initiate a criminal case against the prolific "expert on extremism" Natalia Nikolaevna Kryukova, the author of about 50 "examinations" against Jehovah's Witnesses. The evidence base sufficient to initiate a criminal case was collected by a lawyer who analyzed a number of high-profile cases related to believers of this religion.

Lawyer Viktor Zhenkov considers the activities of N. Kryukova to be a "crime against justice". Liability for such an offence, namely for giving false expert opinions to the court or the investigation, is provided for in article 307 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In addition, in the activities of the expert, the lawyer sees signs of incitement to hatred, violation of equality of human and civil rights and freedoms, violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion (Articles 282, 136, 148 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

According to the lawyer, the expert, not even having a basic philological education, misled the courts by performing "linguistic" examinations of the printed publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as "acts of speech activity" of individual believers. (Natalia Nikolaevna is a mathematician and teacher by education.) Going beyond his competence, the expert cannot fail to understand that his actions lead to miscarriages of justice, which, in turn, hurt the lives of thousands of innocent people. One example is the long-term criminal prosecution of two believers in Sergiev Posad.

In addition, the expert's work uses the tactics of substituting the objects of study. For example, in the operative part of one of her examinations, N. Kryukova declares the presence of signs of "extremism" in the 115 printed publications listed by her, however, judging by the research part of the conclusion, the expert did not analyze them at all, but oral speech recorded on digital media, which is not related to 115 printed publications.

The actions of N. Kryukova in relation to her assessment of the Bible are indicative. According to lawyers, these actions can be qualified as forgery. To "find" signs of extremism in the Bible published by Jehovah's Witnesses (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 2007), the expert turned to the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?, which in 2010 was included in the List of Extremist Materials under number 510 (the decision to include it is being challenged by the ECHR). Having discovered that this book is completely based on the Bible, the expert concludes: it means that the Bible itself is also "extremist"! (Certificate of study dated August 3, 2015).

There are more than enough such examples, since N. Kryukova's "expertise" is in demand by representatives of law enforcement agencies, who are increasing the indicators of the fight against extremism on law-abiding Jehovah's Witnesses. On February 21, 2014, N. Kryukova established her own organization "Center for Socio-Cultural Expertise". To participate in the preparation of examinations against Jehovah's Witnesses, N. Kryukova also attracts his like-minded people - V.I. Batov, A.E. Tarasov and V.S. Kotelnikov.

According to the law, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is obliged to conduct an audit of the activities of "experts" and make a procedural decision.