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RUSSIA: 32 people on trial after nationwide ban

32 Jehovah's Witnesses are now on criminal trial due to 2017 nationwide ban, with one more Jehovah's Witness on trial for alleged "public calls for extremist activity". "Extremism" trials of two Muslim readers of Said Nursi's works and two more Jehovah's Witnesses have been delayed.

Thirty two Jehovah's Witnesses are currently on trial on charges flowing directly from the Russian Supreme Court's 2017 nationwide ban on Jehovah's Witness activity. In Kostroma the trial of two more Jehovah's Witnesses on the same charges was halted when the judge returned the case to prosecutors, as they had not presented evidence of the law being broken. Another Jehovah's Witness is on trial for allegedly distributing material "inciting hatred and enmity".

Valeriya and Sergey Rayman
Jehovah's Witnesses
In the Kostroma trial, Judge Yekaterina Molodova in returning the criminal case against Valeriya and Sergey Rayman to prosecutors ruled that "in this instance, there is a legal right to the profession of the Jehovah's Witness religion, which was not prohibited by the Supreme Court's decision of 20 April 2017". She also ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses "are not deprived of the right to worship independently". Court officials prevented Forum 18 from speaking to the Judge to ask for clarification of what actions would be permissible under Russian law to profess "the Jehovah's Witness religion", and "to worship independently" (see below).

All 32 Jehovah's Witnesses on charges derived from the 2017 ban (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2297) are being tried under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of"), or Part 2 ("Participation in") (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215) ("the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity"). (See full list at base of this article.)

Another Jehovah's Witness, Yury Zalipayev, is still on trial under Criminal Code Article 280, Part 1 ("Public calls for extremist activity") (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2453) for allegedly distributing material "inciting hatred and enmity towards a social group, 'Christian clergy'". Jehovah's Witnesses insist that these materials were planted by FSB security service officers during a search (see below).

Offences under these Criminal Code articles belong to the category of "serious crimes" for which the statute of limitations is 10 years.

Muslims who meet to study the works of late Turkish theologian Said Nursi similarly face prosecution under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Parts 1 and 2. Such Muslims typically meet in private homes to study Islam, with one or more expounding on Nursi's works, and pray, eat, and drink tea. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2406)

Such Muslims are accused of membership of an organisation the Supreme Court banned in April 2008, "Nurdzhular" (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215) (a russification of the Turkish for "Nursi followers"). Muslims in Russia deny that such an organisation has ever existed.

Cases against two male Muslim Nursi readers in Krasnoyarsk Region (Denis Zhukov (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2493) and Yevgeny Sukharev (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478)) have been halted. (Sukharev's trial was already underway, but Zhukov's had not reached court.) Both men are still, however, under investigation for allegedly meeting with others to study Nursi's work. It is unknown when either man may be brought to trial (see below).

Convictions


Two male Muslim readers of Nursi's works are serving labour camp sentences:

– Artur Abdulgamidovich Kaltuyev was sentenced to three years in November 2017. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2339)

- and Ilgar Vagif-ogly Aliyev was sentenced to eight years in June 2018. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2386)

Eight male Jehovah's Witnesses have been convicted in 2019 under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 or 2, as a direct result of the 2017 ban:

- In the first such conviction under the nationwide ban, Aleksandr Solovyov was fined 300,000 Roubles on 4 July 2019. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2493)

- Valery Moskalenko was sentenced to two years and two months' assigned labour (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2510) on 2 September 2019. This will be waived because of the time he spent in detention, but he will be on probation for six months if his appeal fails. The next hearing is due to take place on 5 November, according to the Khabarovsk Regional Court website.

Aleksey Budenchuk, Konstantin Bazhenov, Feliks Makhammadiyev, Aleksey Miretsky, Roman Gridasov, Gennady German, Saratov
Jehovah's Witnesses
- On 19 September 2019, a court in Saratov imposed six jail sentences: (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2510)
1) Konstantin Viktorovich Bazhenov (born 10 May 1975), three years and six months;
2) Aleksey Vladimirovich Budenchuk (born 27 July 1982), three years and six months;
3) Feliks Khasanovich Makhammadiyev (born 14 December 1984), three years;
4) Roman Aleksandrovich Gridasov (born 16 September 1978), two years;
5) Gennady Vasilyevich German (born 12 June 1969), two years;
6) Aleksey Petrovich Miretsky (born 14 December 1975), two years.

Both defence and prosecution lawyers are challenging the judge's ruling, Saratov Regional Prosecutor's Office told Forum 18 on 10 October. Their appeal hearings are due to begin on 7 November 2019.

Two male Jehovah's Witnesses have been convicted in 2019 for allegedly continuing the activities of the Oryol local Jehovah's Witness congregation, which was banned in 2016 (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2256) before the 2017 nationwide ban:

- Danish citizen Dennis Christensen was sentenced to six years in a labour camp on 6 February 2019. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2479)

- and Sergei Skrynnikov was fined 350,000 Roubles, or about 11 months' average local wages, on 1 April 2019. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2480)

In the North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya, Arkadya Akopyan, was sentenced to 120 hours of community service on 27 December 2018 (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2450) under Criminal Code Article 282, Part 1 ("Actions directed at the incitement of hatred [nenavist] or enmity [vrazhda], as well as the humiliation of an individual or group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, attitude to religion, or social group"). Allegedly he had in sermons "degraded the dignity" of Orthodox and Muslim clergy, condoned Pussy Riot's demonstration in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2012, and gave banned "extremist" literature to his congregation.

Akopyan was later acquitted, however, in connection with the partial decriminalisation of this Criminal Code article. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2453)

Releases


Four male Muslim readers of Nursi's works have been released from labour camps (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2493) in 2019: Sukhrab Abdulgamidovich Kaltuyev, Ziyavdin Badirsoltanovich Dapayev, Komil Olimovich Odilov, and Yevgeny Lvovich Kim.

Prisoner of conscience made stateless, awaiting deportation


Foreigners' Detention Centre, Khabarovsk
Google
Yevgeny Kim was released on 10 April 2019, but was deprived of his Russian citizenship, left stateless, and – on the day he completed his prison term – fined and ordered deported to his country of birth. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478) The official reason for his deprivation of citizenship was that he did not have the correct documents – which officials had confiscated the day before the court decision. This appears to be the first time anyone has been stripped of citizenship after being convicted under Russia's harsh "anti-extremism" laws for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief.

In stripping Kim of his citizenship, and thereby leaving him stateless, Russia has broken two legally binding international treaties (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478) – the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and the Council of Europe's European Convention on Nationality.

Kim is now in a temporary detention centre for foreign nationals in Khabarovsk, awaiting deportation to Uzbekistan - his place of birth when it was part of the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan is itself a serious violator of freedom of religion and belief. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?country=33)

Uzbekistan is refusing to accept Kim, fellow Muslims who have been following the case told Forum 18 on 9 October. His lawyer is making an official request to the Uzbek authorities for written confirmation that Kim has never been a citizen of Uzbekistan, as he had a Soviet passport until gaining Russian citizenship in 2005. His lawyer will then apply to a Russian court for clarification of the situation.

Kim remains on the Rosfinmonitoring "List of Terrorists and Extremists", whose assets banks are obliged to freeze. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215) Only small transactions not exceeding 10,000 Roubles per month are permitted.

Tortured in pre-trial detention, no arrests or prosecutions of torturers


While Kim was held in pre-trial detention from December 2015 in Blagoveshchensk's Investigation Prison No. 1, he was tortured, had his ribs broken, and suffered attempted rape. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2332)

Against Russia's legally binding international obligations (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2332) under the United Nations (UN) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, no arrests or prosecutions of the officials who tortured Muslim prisoner of conscience Kim, or those who facilitated the torture, are yet known to have happened. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478)

Similarly, no arrests or prosecutions of officials who tortured seven Jehovah's Witnesses in Surgut in February 2019 are known to have happened. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2480) Instead, two of the officials implicated have been given awards.

Increasing number of Jehovah's Witness criminal investigations


A total of 250 Jehovah's Witnesses in 45 regions of Russia (not counting Crimea and Sevastopol) are now (25 October 2019) known to be being criminally investigated for exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief (59 women, 191 men). The total is increasing, as on 11 October 2019 (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2512), 245 Jehovah's Witnesses were known to be under investigation.

Thirty-six people are today known to be in pre-trial detention and 26 under house arrest. The remainder are under travel restrictions or specific restrictions (such as not being allowed out at night), under an obligation to present themselves to investigators when summoned, or under no known restrictions.

There have been no known recent cases of new investigations of Muslim readers of Nursi's works.

Two cases against Muslim readers of Nursi's works delayed in Krasnoyarsk Region


The case against Muslim reader of Nursi's works Denis Vladimirovich Zhukov (born 22 February 1988) has still not reached court, court officials told Forum 18.

The FSB security service initially arrested Zhukov on 23 August 2018 on board the Moscow-Krasnoyarsk train, (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2426) on which he was returning home after a period spent abroad. He allegedly participated in alleged "Nurdzhular" meetings, at which he allegedly "conducted training of attendees of the gathering in the form of reading banned literature from the Risale-i Nur [Messages of Light] collection of writings, and also explaining the essence of what was read".

It was thought in May that investigators had prepared a second indictment after prosecutors sent the case back for further work to be carried out (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478), but this now appears not to be so. The Investigative Committee instead extended the period of further investigation, but is likely to resubmit the case to the Prosecutor's Office by the end of October. It is unknown when Zhukov's trial may begin, a fellow Muslim who is following the case told Forum 18.

The FSB security service arrested Yevgeny Igoryevich Sukharev (born 9 April 1990) on 24 March 2017, and his case was lodged with a court in March 2018 (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2373). He had undergone 23 hearings at Sharypovo City Court before Judge Inna Gavritskaya returned his case to prosecutors on 28 February 2019 (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2478) because of omissions and shortcomings in the indictment.

Prosecutors have now sent the case back to the Investigative Committee, a fellow Muslim who is following the case told Forum 18 on 9 October. A second expert examination suggested that his voice does not appear on audio recordings of Nursi's books being read aloud, and investigators have now ordered a third examination. It is not known when Sukharev's case may return to court.

Both Zhukov and Sukharev have been charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity"). They both remain under travel restrictions, meaning that they cannot go outside their respective home towns of Krasnoyarsk and Sharypovo. After his initial arrest, Zhukov was put under house arrest for about four months. Neither man appears on the Rosfinmonitoring "List of Terrorists and Extremists".

Kostroma: Jehovah' Witness case sent back to prosecutors


The Investigative Committee arrested Sergey Alekseyevich Rayman (born 5 October 1996) and Valeriya Aleksandrovna Rayman (born 21 May 1993) during raids on three Jehovah's Witness homes in Kostroma on 25 July 2018. (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2412)

Valeriya was held in temporary detention for 48 hours before being released under specific restrictions, such as not being allowed to go out at night, or use the telephone or internet. Sergey spent nearly two months in Kostroma's Investigation Prison No. 1 before being transferred to house arrest. He too was placed under specific restrictions on 24 October 2018. Both Raymans were put under travel restrictions on 22 January 2019.

Sverdlovsk District Court had originally accepted the case for consideration on 25 June 2019. Only one other hearing had so far taken place.

On 25 September 2019, according to the court website, Judge Yekaterina Molodova returned the criminal case against Valeriya and Sergey Rayman to prosecutors, citing violations in the indictment. The judge's ruling has not yet entered legal force.

Judge Molodova noted that "in this instance, there is a legal right to the profession of the Jehovah's Witness religion, which was not prohibited by the Supreme Court's decision of 20 April 2017". She also pointed out that "Given that the Supreme Court has repeatedly indicated in its rulings that the profession of the Jehovah's Witness religion is not prohibited by law, [Jehovah's Witnesses] are not deprived of the right to worship independently", Jehovah's Witnesses stated on 1 October.

Forum 18 telephoned Judge Molodova's office repeatedly on 24 October to seek further clarification of her ruling, including asking her what actions she considered are under Russian law permissible to profess "the Jehovah's Witness religion", and to "worship independently" - for example keeping single personal copies of Jehovah's Witness texts for use in worship.

A court spokeswoman in Judge Molodova's office would only state that the prosecution's conclusions had contained violations of the requirements of the Criminal Procedural Code. When Forum 18 asked what being able "to worship independently" meant - alone, with friends, etc. - she replied that she could not answer this question. Spokespeople on different occasions directed Forum 18 to the Court Chancellery or the Court Chair's assistant, but no one would answer Forum 18's questions. After conferring with another person, the spokeswoman in Judge Molodova's office refused to connect Forum 18 with Judge Molodova, claiming that "as a correspondent" Forum 18 could not speak to her.

Judge Molodova also ruled that prosecutors had presented no evidence that the Raymans were founders or members of any local religious organisation in Kostroma, and, despite accusing them of holding meetings of an organisation, did not give in the case materials the full names of any participants, indicate how the Raymans had committed their alleged offences, or identify any consequences of their actions.

According to the Sverdlovsk District Court website, the prosecution registered an appeal against the return of the case at Kostroma Regional Court on 7 October 2019, which is due to be heard by Judge Aleksandr Andriyanov on 29 October 2019.

Forum 18 wrote to the Kostroma Regional Prosecutor's Office before the start of the Kostroma working day of 8 October, asking what consequences and victims of the Raymans' alleged extremist actions there had been. Forum 18 received no reply as of 25 October.

Sergey has been charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 and Valeriya under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2. Neither appears on the Rosfinmonitoring "List of Terrorists and Extremists". Both remain under travel restrictions.

==================================================

Full list of ongoing Jehovah's Witness criminal trials


Apart from the Maysky trial of Yury Zalipayev noted at the end of this list, all these trials are on charges of breaking Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of"), or Part 2 ("Participation in") (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215) ("the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity").

Tomsk

1) Sergei Gennadyevich Klimov (born 26 March 1970) – arrested on 3 June 2018, detained since 5 July 2018 in Investigation Prison No. 1, Tomsk; charged under Criminal Code Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 20 June 2019.

Prosecutors lodged his case on 28 May 2019 at October District Court in Tomsk. Twenty-one full hearings have so far taken place before Judge Dmitry Borisov, the latest on 21 October, when the prosecution asked that Klimov be imprisoned for seven years. The next hearing is due to take place on 28 October 2019; it is likely that the judge will issue a verdict on or soon after this date.

Vladivostok, Primorye

2) Dmitry Viktorovich Barmakin (born 30 May 1974) – arrested in Nakhodka on 28 July 2018; detained since 30 July 2018 in Investigation Prison No. 1, Vladivostok; released under specific restrictions on 18 October 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 14 February 2019.

Prosecutors lodged his case on 13 June 2019 at Pervorechensk District Court in Vladivostok. He has so far undergone seven hearings, and will appear again before Judge Stanislav Salnikov on 6 December 2019. The court is now hearing witness testimony.

Polyarny, Murmansk Region

3,4) Roman Nikolayevich Markin (born 18 March 1974) and Viktor Fyodorovich Trofimov (born 26 March 1957) – both arrested on 18 April 2018 and detained no later than 20 April 2018 in Investigation Prison No. 1, Murmansk; put under house arrest on 10 October 2018; released under travel restrictions on 7 February 2019; charged under Criminal Code Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; not on Rosfinmonitoring List.

Prosecutors lodged a single case against both men on 28 May 2019 at Polyarny District Court. They have made 11 appearances to date before Judge Viktoriya Loginova, most recently on 2 October 2019; it is unknown when the next hearing will be held.

Penza

5) Vladimir Aleksandrovich Alushkin (born 30 June 1964) – arrested on 15 July 2018 and detained in Investigation Prison No. 1, Penza; put under house arrest on 14 January 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 6 September 2018.

6, 7, 8) Denis Vladimirovich Timoshin (born 23 March 1980), Andrei Aleksandrovich Magliv (born 20 June 1984), and Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kulyasov (born 17 April 1974) – all arrested on 15 July 2018 and detained for 48 hours; put under house arrest on 17 July 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 6 September 2018.

9, 10) Tatyana Sergeyevna Alushkina (born 12 September 1963) and Galiya Anvarovna Olkhova (born 5 February 1970) – neither arrested or detained but criminal case opened on 11 July 2018; both under travel restrictions since at latest 15 April 2019; charged under Criminal Code Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 30 May 2019.

Prosecutors lodged a single case against all six defendants on 1 July 2019 at Penza's Lenin District Court. They have undergone 16 hearings to date, the latest on 10 October 2019; more are due to take place on 7, 8, 12, 14, and 15 November. Judge Roman Tanchenko has completed has consideration of the case materials and has begun hearing witness testimony.

Nadezhdinsky District, Primorye

11) Grigory Gennadyevich Bubnov (born 4 September 1965) – arrested 16 July 2018 and put under travel restrictions; charged under Criminal Code Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 11 July 2019.

Prosecutors lodged their case against him at Nadezhdinsky District Court on 31 May 2019. Bubnov has made 18 appearances so far before Judge Natalya Derevyagina. On 22 October, prosecutors requested a sentence of seven years' imprisonment. The final statements by both prosecution and defence continued on 23 October. It is likely that the judge will issue a verdict soon.

Beryozovsky, Kemerovo Region

12) Vadim Anatolyevich Levchuk (born 6 February 1972) – arrested on 22 July 2018; detained on 24 July 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 22 November 2018

13) Sergey Alekseyevich Britvin (born 18 August 1965) – arrested on 22 July 2018; detained on 24 July 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 22 November 2018

14) Khasan Abduvaitovich Kogut (born 7 May 1983) – arrested on 6 February 2019 on being summoned to FSB security service office; detained for 48 hours then put under house arrest on 8 February 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 28 February 2019

Prosecutors lodged a single case against Britvin and Levchuk at Beryozovsky City Court on 3 June 2019. They have made 13 appearances before Judge Irina Vorobyova, with their next due to take place on 31 October 2019.

Prosecutors lodged their case against Kogut at the same court on 15 July 2019. He has undergone six full hearings before Judge Yelena Bigeza, with the next due on 28 October. His defence requested that Kogut's case be combined with Britvin and Levchuk's, as they had all been accused of participation in the same worship services and lawyers did not want the outcome of one trial to be affected by that of the other; on 17 September, Judge Bigeza rejected this request. On 27 August, Kemerovo Regional Court upheld Kogut's appeal against the extension of his term in pre-trial custody, and ordered his release under travel restrictions.

Karpinsk, Sverdlovsk Region

15) Venera Nikolayevna Dulova (born 3 January 1961) – arrested no earlier than 1 August 2018 and placed under travel restrictions; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

16) Aleksandr Vitalyevich Pryanikov (born 18 May 1987) – arrested no earlier than 21 September 2018 and placed under travel restrictions; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

Prosecutors lodged their case against both Jehovah's Witnesses on 14 August 2019. Dulova and Pryanikov have appeared seven times before Judge Svetlana Gabbasova at Karpinsk City Court. Their next hearing is scheduled for 31 October.

Khabarovsk

17) Stanislav Viktorovich Kim (born 5 July 1968) – arrested on 10 November 2018; detained on 12 November 2018; placed under house arrest on 30 January 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 and Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

18) Vitaly Vyacheslavovich Zhuk (born 8 April 1972) – arrested 10 November 2018; detained 12 November 2018; placed under house arrest on 14 January 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

19) Nikolai Yuryevich Polevodov (born 10 February 1970) – arrested on 10 November 2018; detained on 12 November 2018; placed under house arrest on 14 January 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 and Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

20, 21, 22) Tatyana Valentinovna Zhuk (born 13 March 1973), Maya Pavlovna Karpushkina (born 19 March 1949), and Svetlana Grigoryevna Sedova (born 8 June 1969) – all arrested on 10 November 2018 and put under travel restrictions; charged under Article 282.2, Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

Prosecutors lodged a single case against all six Jehovah's Witnesses on 18 July 2017 at Industrial District Court in Khabarovsk. Their first hearing took place on 9 September 2019 – the next three have been scheduled for 28 October, 5 November, and 13 November 2019.

Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka

23) Yelena Vyacheslavovna Popova, born 10 September 1963 – arrested on 30 July 2018 and detained for 48 hours, extended to 72 hours; placed under house arrest on 3 August 2018; released from house arrest on appeal on 10 August 2018; suspect under Criminal Code Articles 282.2, Part 1 and 282.2, Part 1.1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 11 October 2018

24) Mikhail Yuryevich Popov, born 25 May 1962 – arrested on 30 July 2018; detained on 1 August 2018; released on appeal on 9 August 2018; suspect under Criminal Code Articles 282.2, Part 1 and 282.2, Part 1.1; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 11 October 2018

Prosecutors lodged their case against the Popovs at Vilyuchinsk City Court on 3 September 2019. One hearing appears to have taken place so far before Judge Aleksandr Ishchenko, on 15 October; the next will be held on 31 October.

Perm

25) Aleksey Aleksandrovich Metsger, born 8 September 1975 – not believed to have been arrested or detained; case opened on 25 April 2019; placed under travel restrictions on 10 June 2019?; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

Prosecutors lodged their case at Ordzhonikidze District Court on 24 September 2019. Judge Svetlana Chereneva has presided over six hearings so far, the latest on 25 October 2019. It is unknown when Metsger will next appear in court.

Vladivostok

26) Valentin Pavlovich Osadchuk, born 15 March 1976 – arrested on 19 April 2018; detained on 23 April 2018; put under house arrest on 18 January 2019; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 (upgraded from Part 2 on 1 April 2019); added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

27) Nailya Sunatovna Kogay, born 5 October 1951 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

28) Lyubov Aleksandrovna Galaktionova, born 14 July 1942 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

29) Nina Ivanovna Purge, born 19 June 1940 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

30) Raisa Mikhailovna Usanova, born 28 September 1947 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

31) Yelena Viktorovna Zayshchuk, born 25 August 1934 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

32) Nadezhda Anatolyevna Anoykina, born 11 January 1958 – arrested on 19 April 2018; put under travel restrictions on 19 April 2018; charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; added to Rosfinmonitoring List on 25 July 2019

Prosecutors lodged a single case against all seven Jehovah's Witnesses on 2 October 2019 at Vladivostok's Lenin District Court. Judge Anton Sklizkov has overseen three hearings so far, most recently on 24 October; the next will be held on 29 October 2019.

Maysky, Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya

33) Yury Viktorovich Zalipayev, born 8 October 1962 – case opened in August 2017; put under travel restrictions on 24 April 2018; currently on trial under Criminal Code Article 280, Part 1 ("Public calls for extremist activity"); second charge under Criminal Code Article 282, Part 1 dropped on 22 January 2019; not on Rosfinmonitoring List

Zalipayev made his most recent appearance on 19 July 2019, the 28th hearing in his case in the past year. At this hearing, Judge Yelena Kudryavtsev ordered further "expert analysis", and scheduled proceedings to resume on 4 February 2020.

(END)

Full reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Russia (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=10)

For more background see Forum 18's survey of the general state of freedom of religion and belief in Russia (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246), as well as Forum 18's survey of the dramatic decline in this freedom related to Russia's Extremism Law (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215).

A personal commentary by Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis http://www.sova-center.ru, about the systemic problems of Russian anti-extremism legislation (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1468)

Forum 18's compilation of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) freedom of religion or belief commitments (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1351)

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