Saturday, July 14, 2018

Russia: 53 Jehovah's Witnesses facing criminal prosecution


The most recent arrests include Anastasiya Polyakova in Omsk, the first woman known to have been placed in pre-trial detention, although several others had already been charged or named as suspects and put under travel restrictions.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Forum 18
By Victoria Arnold | July 14, 2018

Full list of 53 Jehovah's Witnesses charged or named as suspects or currently on trial for "extremism"-related offences as of 11 July 2018. Of these, 22 are in detention, 3 under house arrest and 27 under travel restrictions. Only one is not under restrictions as the criminal investigation proceeds.

More than 50 Jehovah's Witnesses are now facing criminal prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief. Law enforcement agencies carried out yet more armed raids, searches, and arrests in a further five Russian regions in June and early July, bringing to 22 the number of people now in detention. Another three are under house arrest, and 27 are under travel restrictions.

A full list of Jehovah's Witnesses currently (12 July 2018) known to be facing criminal prosecution – in detention, under house arrest, under travel restrictions, and in one case under no known restrictions - is given below.

The most recent arrests include Anastasiya Polyakova in Omsk, the first woman known to have been placed in pre-trial detention, although several others had already been charged or named as suspects and put under travel restrictions.

A total of 53 Jehovah's Witnesses have been charged or named as suspects or are currently on trial for "extremism"-related offences as of 11 July 2018. The majority of these people – 12 women, 37 men – are under investigation for "continuing the activities" of the banned Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre and its local communities.

As of 11 July 2018, 22 people are in pre-trial detention (21 men, 1 woman), three people are under house arrest (all men), and 27 people (11 women, 16 men) are under travel restrictions. Only one man is currently under no restrictions.

For exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief, the Jehovah's Witnesses stand accused of continuing the activities of their national-level Administrative Centre and the local communities which it oversaw. All of these were outlawed as "extremist" by Supreme Court rulings of 20 April and 17 July 2017.


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