20 whole families of Jehovah's Witnesses face prosecution


Za Prava Cheloveka, 3 April 2020


On 20 March 2020, in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, agents of the F.S.B. opened criminal cases against a family of Jehovah's Witnesses (an organization considered extremist in the RF). As jw-russia reports, an investigator of the investigation department of the F.S.B. directorate, D. Melnikov, opened a criminal case on the basis of part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (organizing an extremist community) against a local resident, Tatiana Kulakova. Earlier criminal cases had been opened against her son and husband also.


The criminal prosecution of the Kulakov family began back in December 2018. At that time, 58-year-old Sergei Kulakov was accused of organizing an extremist community (282.2 (1) CC RF). In January 2019, searches were conducted in homes of believers. Eight months later, on 29 August 2019, Sergei's elder son, Dmitry, found himself among suspects under article 282.2 (2) of the CC RF.


The younger son of the Kulakov family, Evgeny, is threatened with criminal prosecution for "avoiding performance of military service." The young man is fighting for the right to substitute alternative civilian service for military service, but thus far unsuccessfully. He lost in a court of first instance and he has turned to a higher-level court.


The Kulakov family is not unique in being subjected to criminal prosecution for their faith. According to information of jw-russia, in Russia no fewer than 20 instances of the prosecution of whole families of Jehovah's Witnesses for religious views are known. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 April 2020)

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