Moscow

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.

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.

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International Joint Statement by 36 Civic Organizations in Defense of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

Human rights organizations from 18 countries urge the Russian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all Jehovah's Witnesses in detention and to drop the charges for the involvement in extremism.

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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.

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Russia Rejects Witnesses’ Request for Compensation Before ECHR

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

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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.

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Russia Asks ECHR for More Time to Prepare Response

On 26 September 2018, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced that Dennis Christensen was included on the list of “Religious Prisoners of Conscience”.

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Human Rights Council Responds to Appeal of Wives of Men Arrested

The Prosecutor General’s Office was asked to verify the legality of the massive arrests of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Council for Human Rights believes that this violates the Supreme Court decision.

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Collective Open Letter From Wives of Men Arrested

A letter was published, addressed to the whole Council for Human Rights. It begins with the words: “An open letter to you — our cry of despair”.

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Russia Submits Response to ECHR Regarding Liquidation of Witnesses’ Legal Entities

The response to the application Administrative Centre of Jehovahs Witnesses in Russia and Kalin v. Russia contains a statement that should serve as a warning to security agencies.

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On 20 December, Questioning of Experts Who Found Extremism in Bible

The cross-examination of the experts who found extremism in the Bible can be observed in both St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask Human Rights Ombudsman to Appeal Supreme Court Decision

Among other things, the Ombudsman’s attention is being drawn to massive human rights violations, which are gaining momentum, following this court decision.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Appeal Ban to Presidium of Russian Supreme Court

On 11 September 2017, lawyers filed a supervisory appeal against the Supreme Court decision to liquidate Jehovah’s Witnesses and ban their activity in Russia. They requested that the decision dated 20 April 2017 be completely reversed and its execution be suspended until the proceedings in the court of supervisory instance are concluded.

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Review of RF Supreme Court Decision Against Jehovah’s Witnesses Set for 17 July 2017

A hearing date has been set for an appeal against the RF Supreme Court decision dated 20 April 2017 to liquidate the Religious Organisation Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses File Appeal Against Supreme Court Decision

The full text of the appeal is published. The date of the appeal hearing has not yet been set.

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Audio: Statement by Maksim Novakov Before Russia’s Supreme Court

The 26-minute statement by a lawyer in oral arguments during the historic judicial proceedings on banning Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The most dangerous form of extremism is a wave of persecution of believing citizens merely because they worship God”, noted Novakov.

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Audio: Statement of Vasiliy Kalin Before Russia’s Supreme Court

Kalin called the claim of the Ministry of Justice “a crime against one’s own people” in his four-minute statement in oral arguments during the historic judicial proceedings on banning Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Audio: Statement of Sergey Cherepanov Before Russia’s Supreme Court

A 13-minute statement of Sergey Cherepanov in oral arguments during the historic judicial proceedings on banning Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Supreme Court Decides to Liquidate Jehovah’s Witnesses. They Prepare Appeal

20 April 2017 may be a date that goes down in history as a gloomy day for fundamental human freedoms in Russia.

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Sixth Day of Hearings in Supreme Court on Ministry Claim to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses

The hearing continues on 20 April 2017 at 2.00 p.m. The proceedings have entered their final stage, awaiting the oral arguments of the parties. Courtroom reporting is provided.

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