Another elderly woman Jehovah's Witness threatened with prison


Memorial Rights Center, 11 March 2021


Valentina Suvorova "committed a deliberate crime against the foundations of the constitutional system and state security," by conversing with citizens about the religious teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses.


On 10 March, in the debates in the Metallurgical district court of Cheliabinsk, the prosecution side requested for the 73-year-old female Jehovah's Witness Valentina Suvorova a real-time prison term in a case about participation in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 CC RF). This is reported by Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.


The prosecutor asked for three years incarceration for the elderly believer to be served in a penal colony of ordinary regime.


According to the account of the investigation, "in the period since 6 September 2017, with exact dates and times not established, in an unspecified location on the territory of the city of Cheliabinsk, a criminal intent arose in V.A. Suvorova for committing illegal actions by participation in the continuation of the activity of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, 'Cheliabinsk,' with respect to which a court had made a decision for its liquidation." The believer is accused of conversations with citizens about the religious teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses, which the investigation interprets as "a deliberate crime against the foundations of the constitutional system and state security."


We recall that in late March 2019, searches were conducted in the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in Cheliabinsk. Several days before this, a criminal case had been opened against Suvorova on the basis of part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In December 2019, she was charged and released on her own recognizance.


In April 2017, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is an extremist organization and it liquidated it. In August of the same year, the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were placed on the list of forbidden extremist organizations.


The Memorial Rights Center considers the arrested Jehovah's Witnesses to be political prisoners and it demands that the prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses on the basis of their religious affiliation be ended. (tr. by PDS, posted 11 March 2021)

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