Jehovah's Witness awaits verdict in Khabarovsk court


He has already been in a SIZO more than a year

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 15 August 2019


On 15 August 2019, in the Zheleznodorozhny district court of Khabarovsk, the judicial examination of a criminal case against a local resident, Valery Moskalenko, ended. He faces up to six years of prison for the fact that in the spring of 2018, in the opinion of the investigation, he discussed with friends faith in the God Jehovah in a hotel conference hall.


The case is being heard by Judge Ivan Belykh; the investigation was conducted by the local department of the FSB. In December 2018, lawyers sent to the European Court of Human Rights an appeal "Moskalenko v. Russia" with the request to consider it on a priority basis in accordance with the policy of the Strasbourg court. The appeal called attention to the violation by the Russian Federation simultaneously of several articles of the European convention, including articles 9, 3, 8, 17, and/or 18 (being considered independently or along with other articles).


The opening of the case became known in August 2018. Personnel of the FSB and OMON invaded six homes of peaceful residents of Khabarovsk and seized religious literature, mobile telephones, and other personal items of citizens. Along with others, Valery Moskalenko was interrogated and held in custody. He was accused of participating in worship services and "in singing songs that expressed the teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses."


Valery Moskalenko's occupation is assistant operator of electric locomotives. Before being placed in a SIZO, Valery lived with his aged mother and provided her daily care that she urgently needed. At the time of his arrest, she became ill and it was necessary to call for an ambulance. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 August 2019)

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