European court intervenes in favor of Jehovah's Witnesses


Mediazona, 31 August 2021


A Kurgan oblast court released from a pretrial holding cell (SIZO) the Jehovah's Witnesses Alexander Lubin and Anatoly Isakov, pursuant to a demand by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This is being reported by the religious organization itself.


According to believers' information, cases were opened against 65-year-old Lubin and 56-year-old Isakov in July. Both are accused of arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of Criminal Code). They were placed in the Kurgan SIZO-1.


The organization emphasizes that the accused are disabled persons of the second category. Isakov has a blood cancer and numerous compression fractures of the spine and ribs. Because of his arrest, the believer's chemotherapy was interrupted and he was not given necessary medicine in the SIZO. According to information from the Jehovah's Witnesses, Isakov was infected by the coronavirus in the holding cell.


Lubin also has several diagnoses: vascular disease, hypertension, and an autoimmune disease. Besides his medications, he needs oxygen 16 hours per day, the website of the organization says.


A court left in place the measure of restriction, even after an appeal. Then the lawyers sent an appeal to the ECHR, which can require use of preliminary measures in the period before a final decision in the case is made.


After this, on 24 August, the believers were sent to a hospital for medical examination, where the medics determined that Lubin and Isakov cannot be in the SIZO because of their illnesses. The court selected for them a prohibition of certain activities.


In 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses are an extremist organization and banned their activity on Russian territory. Since then, more than 100 believers have been subjects in criminal cases. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 September 2021)

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