The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief
20 March 2018
RUSSIA: Increasing land use fines "a lottery"
The number of fines for meeting for worship on land not designated for religious use (such as in homes) has increased sharply from 2016. One lawyer compared the legal situation to fining a driver whose passengers drink tea because a road is not designated for drinking tea.
1 March 2018
RUSSIA: Ten years' jail for religious study meetings?
Ilgar Aliyev – a Muslim who studied Islam with others using books by theologian Said Nursi – faces up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted at his Dagestan trial. Imam Komil Odilov faces up to eight years on similar charges. The criminal trials of two others have lasted nearly a year.
20 February 2018
RUSSIA: Two criminal trials, three criminal investigations
The criminal trial of Danish Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen, accused of "continuing the activities of a banned extremist organisation", began in Oryol after nearly nine months' detention. Investigators launched three similar criminal investigations against Jehovah's Witnesses in Belgorod, Kemerovo and Oryol. Arkadya Akopyan is on trial for inciting religious hatred.
19 December 2017
RUSSIA: Property sell-offs, alternative service denials follow Jehovah's Witness ban
Following the Supreme Court ban on all Jehovah's Witness activity – in force since July - Regional Justice Ministry branches are preparing to sell off their confiscated property. Military call-up offices have denied several army conscripts the option of alternative civilian service. Jehovah's Witnesses experience increased state harassment, plus vandalism and violence.
11 December 2017
RUSSIA: Falsified "evidence" helped convictions?
Apparently falsified testimonies may have helped jail two Russian Muslim prisoners of conscience, Forum 18 has been told. A representative of publishers who formerly published Russian translations of theologian Said Nursi's works has, without success, appealed to the General Prosecutor's Office to investigate.
8 December 2017
RUSSIA: Three more Muslim prisoners of conscience
Three Muslim prisoners of conscience have been jailed, one for four years for organising meetings to study Said Nursi's works, and the other two for three years each. A Danish Jehovah's Witness prisoner of conscience has had his Russian detention extended.
7 November 2017
RUSSIA: Muslim prisoner of conscience tortured
In Russia's prisons one Muslim prisoner of conscience has recently been tortured, and Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses have both been denied literature. Other Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses continue to be on trial and face investigations for allegedly organising or participating in allegedly "extremist" organisations.
26 October 2017
RUSSIA: Building, retaining places of worship obstructed
Problems caused by the authorities for non-state favoured communities attempting to build new places of worship can include demolition if a mining company wants the land, repeated refusal to legalise land claims, and the withdrawal of building permission while construction is underway.
29 September 2017
RUSSIA: Jehovah's Witness Bible, Jewish, Christian, Muslim books banned
Banned as "extremist": Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Bible, other Jehovah's Witness and Muslim books, an article on the Jewish concept of the Holy Land, a Jewish historical novel claimed to incite hatred of Catholics, a book on "Christian women persecuted for their faith" and an atheist slideshow.
25 August 2017
RUSSIA: First prosecution after Jehovah's Witness ban
In the first prosecution since the Jehovah's Witness ban came into force, Kursk prosecutors are investigating a woman on "extremism" criminal charges for offering leaflets to passers-by. Elsewhere, Jehovah's Witness elder Yury Zalipayev is under investigation on "extremism" charges. Five Muslim Nursi readers are on trial.
9 August 2017
RUSSIA: "Anti-missionary" punishments full listing
As many as 193 individuals and communities have been brought to court in the year since "anti-missionary" punishments came into force on 20 July 2016. Forum 18's list of known cases documents the wide range of people and communities across Russia subjected to such punishments.
8 August 2017
RUSSIA: One year of "anti-missionary" punishments
In the first year of "anti-missionary" punishments, Forum 18 found 193 cases under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4 and 5. Of these 143 resulted in initial convictions (140 fines). In 11 cases religious literature was confiscated. Five foreigners were ordered deported (one overturned on appeal).