CRIMINAL CASE FOR FAITH OPENED AGAINST Y0UNG WOMAN AND HER DISABLED MOTHER IN SVERDL0VSK OBLAST
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 3 August 2019
On 30 May 2019, in the city of Karpinsk of Sverdlovsk oblast, a criminal case was opened against 19-year-old Darya Dulovaia exclusively on the basis of religious identity. The investigation considers that she professes the views of Jehovah's Witnesses. For this same reason, her mother has already been under a signed promise not to depart for a year now.
In the opinion of the investigation, the 19-year-old college student, by entering into a conspiracy with her own mother and acquaintances, "continued vigorous participation in the activity of a forbidden local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses" and exerted "psychological impact on society." On the basis of this, the senior investigator of the investigation department for Krasnoturinsk of the Investigation Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Legal Captain V.A. Sudin, opened a criminal case against Darya for participating in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2, article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the RF). The young woman became the youngest defendant in trials against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as of today.
A year earlier, on 30 July 2018, a criminal case was opened on a similar article against Darya's mother, Venera Dulovaia, who is hearing impaired. At the time, law enforcers searched their apartment and subjected Darya to psychological pressure and threats. They questioned her aggressively about whether her parents read religious literature. The case of Darya Dulovaia has been combined with criminal cases against Venera Dulovaia and Alexander Prianikov, yet another peaceful believer who has been subjected to persecution in Karpinsk.
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia has recently acquired a wide-spread character. Law enforcement agencies are opening cases under harsh criminal articles regardless of the age and sex of believers. The ombudsman for human rights in the RF, the Council on Human Rights under the president of the RF, President Putin himself, prominent public figures in Russia, the Foreign Policy Service of the European Union, observers of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights have given attention to this problem The government of Russia has frequently declared that the decisions of Russian courts for liquidation and prohibition of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization "do not give an assessment of the religious teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses and do not contain restriction or prohibition of confessing said teaching individually." (tr. by PDS, posted 5 August 2019)
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