Nizhny Novgorod Jehovah's Witnesses lose court appeal


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 13 August 2019


On 12 August 2019, the Nizhny Novgorod oblast court left in force the decision of a lower court, which sent 51-year-old Alexander Vavilov to a SIZO for his faith. Also behind bars is 48-year-old Aleksei Oreshkov. Both are accused of participation in extremist activity, which is how investigation bodies interpret the peaceful religious convictions of citizens.


The two believers have been in investigation cells since mid-July 2019. At the present it is known that Alexander Vavilov was sent to SIZO No. 2 of the Kostov district of Nizhny Novgorod oblast and Aleksei Oreshkov is being held in SIZO No. 1 of Nizhny Novgorod. Both are charged on the basis of part 2 of article 282 of the CC RF (participation in extremist activity). This was preceded by massive searches and the arrest of believers in Nizhny Novgorod oblast that occurred on 16 and 17 July 2019.


According to materials of the case, believers Vavilov and Oreshkov, "implementing shared criminal intent and acting deliberately, as a group of persons by previous agreement . . . , undertook specific actions aimed at . . . conducting religious activity and worship services" (from the order to bring A.V. Vavilov as a defendant, signed by investigator S.S. Sosunov).


As of the present, in Nizhny Novgorod oblast more than ten believers have been brought to criminal accountability because of their religion. Law enforcement agencies are convinced that residents of the region are forbidden to profess the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, which directly contradicts the positions of the government and the president of the Russian Federation. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 August 2019)

Background article:

Largest reported actions against Jehovah's Witnesses since 2017 ban
July 22, 2019

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