Actions against Jehovah's Witnesses in Kaluga


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 30 June 2019


On 26 June 2019 in the city of Kaluga (Kaluga oblast) searches were conducted on the basis of the presumption that residents of the city profess the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The court ordered detention for two months of Roman Makhnev and Dmitry Kuzin. One believer reported the planting of compromising material.


Personnel of the UFSB of Russia for Kaluga oblast searched two apartments of believers. From them were confiscated personal items, electronic equipment, notes, various editions of the Bible, and scholarly religious studies books. During the search, one of the believers, Roman Makhnev, noticed the planting of literature that did not belong to members of his family, regarding which he inserted a statement into the report. The searches continued until late in the night.


Two days later, on 28 June, the Kaluga district court of Kaluga oblast selected a measure of restriction for Roman Makhnev and Dmitry Kuzin in the form of pretrial imprisonment for a term of two months.


Planting extremist literature on believers became a common practice in recent years. When they do not find evidence of believers' guilt, law enforcement agencies resort to the direct fabrication of evidence. Meanwhile, public figures, the Council on Human Rights under the president of the RF, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, and other Russian and international organizations are increasingly calling for the end of prosecution of people who are not guilty of anything but merely because of their faith. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 June 2019)

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