District Court in Moscow extended by more than three months the house arrest of Konstantin Zherebtsov, Zinaida Krutyakova and Vitaliy Nikiforov, all from the town of Chekhov

Moscow, Moscow Region

Moscow City Court approved the house arrest of three Witnesses from Chekhov. The ambiguous role of the FSB officer attracted dozens of observers, including diplomats, to court

Moscow Region, Moscow

Committee of Ministers Checked How Russia Executes the European Court's Judgments on Jehovah's Witnesses

September 23-25, 2019, in Strasbourg, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, comprising the Foreign Affairs Ministers of all its member states and supervising the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, "insistently urged the [Russian] authorities to rapidly take all necessary measures to ensure that members of the Jehovah's Witnesses can enjoy the unhindered exercise of their individual right to freedom of religion."

France, Moscow

Are Jehovah's Witnesses Actually Banned in Russia?

No. According to the explanation of the Russian Government, the Supreme Court banned only the activities of legal entities that no longer exist, but not the religion as such.


More Than 500 Searches in Homes of Jehovah's Witnesses

As of July 31, 2019, the total number of searches in the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses had reached 587. In two years since the ban took effect, 90 criminal cases were opened against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. At least 241 people are either suspects, accused or convicted. After the verdict against Dennis Christensen in February 2019, Russian law enforcement increased the pressure, evident by the fact that as of February 6, 2019, searches numbered only 296. In total at least 129 Witnesses have been sent to detention centers, and 39 of them, including six women, are still behind bars.  


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.

Moscow, Oryol Region

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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”.

Moscow, France

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.


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”.


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.

Moscow, France

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.


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.


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.