News of the Day: 25 October 2021

Human Rights in Ukraine: A Russian-controlled ‘court’ in occupied Crimea has sentenced 49-year-old Igor Schmidt to six years’ imprisonment for practising his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.  This was labelled ‘organizing the activities of an extremist organization’ under Article 282.2 § 1 of Russia’s criminal code.  The verdict on 22 October is the fourth such ‘conviction’ for reading the Bible and worshipping together in occupied Crimea, with all of them having resulted in 6 or 6.5-year real prison terms.  This is a level of repression far worse than in Russia, where convictions are predetermined, but suspended sentences common. It is especially disturbing since there are currently twelve other believers facing virtually identical charges, and this figure is increasing all the time.

RFE/RL: Noted Russian journalist Sergei Reznik, who specializes in anti-corruption investigations, has been added to the Interior Ministry’s wanted list

The Moscow Times: A Russian publishing house has removed a section on transgender people from the Russian-language edition of a health guide aimed at teenage girls to avoid running afoul of Russian law, media reported Sunday.

RFE/RL: Lawmakers in Tatarstan have voted against a bill initiated in Russia’s lower chamber of parliament — the State Duma — that would abort the title of president currently held by the head of the Russian autonomous republic.

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