Memorial Human Rights Centre: 127 more Jehovah’s Witnesses are political prisoners or victims of politically motivated prosecutions

12 August 2021

Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognized an additional 36 Jehovah’s Witnesses as political prisoners and a further 91 Jehovah’s Witnesses as victims of politically motivated prosecutions.

Source: Memorial Human Rights Centre

Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognized a further 36 Jehovah’s Witnesses as political prisoners, of whom 16 are in custody and 20 under house arrest. We have recognized a further 91 believers as victims of politically motivated prosecutions. These individuals are defendants in criminal cases, but have been given bail.

Most of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been charged with organizing the activities of an extremist organization (Article 282.2, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code), participation in such an organization (Article 282.2, Part 2) or involving others in such activities (Article 282.2, Part 1.1). Some have also been charged with financing extremist activities (Article 282.3, Part 1).

General Statistics

Altogether in our list of political prisoners there are a total of 86 Jehovah’s Witnesses imprisoned on charges related solely to their religious affiliation. Fifty-two of them are in custody and 34 are under house arrest. Of those in custody, 28 await the outcome of their trials in pre-trial detention and 24 have been sentenced to terms ranging from two to eight years.  

Eighty Jehovah’s Witnesses have been given suspended sentences and at least 349 others are being prosecuted but are not in custody at the pre-trial or trial stages.

Moreover, according to our information, there are currently:

  • Fifteen Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been sentenced to fines;
  • Thirteen have already served their sentences, of whom two were deprived of their Russian citizenship while serving their sentence and have been deported;
  • Criminal charges against six others have been dropped;
  • A further five Jehovah’s Witnesses have died.

Altogether, at least 554 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been prosecuted during the large-scale campaign of criminal prosecutions against adherents of the faith that began in April 2017. The number continues to grow.

A regularly updated list of those prosecuted is available on our website.

We consider the designation of Jehovah’s Witness organizations as extremist to be groundless and in violation of the rights to freedom of conscience and association. The criminal prosecution of the followers of this peaceful religion is unlawful and discriminatory.

We demand the immediate release of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are in custody or under house arrest and an end to the criminal prosecution of all members of this faith.

The list of those prosecuted (which can also be found on our website) is as follows:

16 new defendants who are in custody:

  1. Adestov, Roman Aleksandrovich 
  2. Deshko, Vladimir Viktorovich 
  3. Filatov, Aleksandr Nikolaevich
  4. Isakov, Anatoly Vladimirovich 
  5. Kuzhelkov, Anton Vladimirovich 
  6. Kupriyanov, Aleksei Vyacheslavovich 
  7. Lubin, Aleksandr Nikolaevich
  8. Melnik, Vladimir Vasilievich 
  9. Piskarev, Vladimir Vladimirovich 
  10. Putintsev, Artur Vladislavovich 
  11. Serebryakov, Aleksandr Georgievich
  12. Siyukhov, Inver Ruslanovich 
  13. Skudaev, Sergei Vladimirovich 
  14. Temirbulatov, Yury Rafikovich 
  15. Usanov, Yury Aleksandrovich 
  16. Velizhanina, Tatyana Yurievna 

20 new defendants who remain under house arrest:

  1. Ananin, Sergei Viktorovich 
  2. Chaikovsky, Ivan Stepanovich 
  3. Chernyshev, Yury Evgenievich 
  4. Derendyaev, Maksim Ivanovich 
  5. Dubovenko, Aleksandr
  6. Kazakov, Sergei 
  7. Komarov, Vitaly Viktorovich 
  8. Kretov, Sergei Pavlovich
  9. Litvinyuk, Aleksandr
  10. Loginsky, Yury Vladimirovich 
  11. Merkulov, Denis Aleksandrovich 
  12. Moskalev, Yury Vladimirovich 
  13. Reshetnikov, Evgeny Borisovich 
  14. Safronova, Anna Arnoldovna 
  15. Shatalov, Sergei Grigorievich 
  16. Simonenko, Boris Nikolaevich 
  17. Urazbakhtin, Ildar
  18. Yagovitov, Boris Yurievich 
  19. Zakaryan, Vardan Pegatosovich
  20. Zhiltsov, Petr

91 believers who are on bail:

  1. Anufriev, Nikolai Filippovich 
  2. Ashikhmin, Sergei Aleksandrovich 
  3. Balabkin, Vladimir Moiseevich 
  4. Bitusov, Evgeny Vladimirovich 
  5. Chesnokov, Vladimir Aleksandrovich
  6. Danielyan, Andrei Emikovich 
  7. Degtyarenko, Ilya Olegovich 
  8. Dominova, Aksana Otarovna
  9. Druzhinin, Leonid Ivanovich
  10. Dubovkina, Svetlana Aleksandrovna
  11. Dutkin, Vladimir Vitalievich 
  12. Efremova, Svetlana Evgenievna 
  13. Eliseev, Aleksei Nikolaevich 
  14. Ermak, Anna Vladimirovna 
  15. Ermilova, Valentina Valerievna 
  16. Ershov, Aleksei Nikolaevich 
  17. Ershov, Ilya Vladimirovich 
  18. Filiznov, Petr Vyacheslavovich 
  19. Gobozev, Sergei Borisovich 
  20. Godunov, Evgeny Nikolaevich 
  21. Golik, Kristina Valentinovna 
  22. Gushchin, Kirill Olegovich 
  23. Gushchina, Svetlana Georgievna 
  24. Ilyasova, Yunona Alekseevna 
  25. Kazadaev, Pavel Alekseevich 
  26. Ketov, Aleksandr Valerievich 
  27. Kharlamov, Andrei Vladimirovich 
  28. Khmil, Valery Anatolievich 
  29. Kobelev, Sergei Aleksandrovich 
  30. Kobeleva, Galina Alekseevna 
  31. Kolesnichenko, Andrei Vasilievich 
  32. Kostenko, Aleksandr Viktorovich 
  33. Kochneva, Nataliya Andreevna
  34. Kruglyakov, Aleksandr Viktorovich 
  35. Krupnov, Petr Sergeevich
  36. Krupnova, Maya Leonidovna 
  37. Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich 
  38. Kuznetsov, Sergei Aleksandrovich 
  39. Kuznetsova, Maria Sergeevna 
  40. Kuzio, Daria 
  41. Kutin, Aleksandr Georgievich 
  42. Labadze, Gurami Noeevich 
  43. Ledyaikin, Andrei Sergeevich 
  44. Manzyrykchi, Vitaly Alevtinovich 
  45. Meleshko, Vasily Vladimirovich 
  46. Menchikova, Elena Alekseevna 
  47. Merinkov, Eduard Valerievich 
  48. Minsafin, Valery Igorevich  
  49. Mirgorodskaya, Olga Vladimirovna 
  50. Mironchik, Igor Evgenievich 
  51. Morlang, Tatyana Yurievna 
  52. Naumenko, Sergei Aleksandrovich 
  53. Nekrasova, Lidiya Semenovna 
  54. Nikolaev, Aleksandr Georgievich
  55. Ogorodov, Pavel
  56. Olshevskaya, Ekaterina Sergeevna 
  57. Ortanova, Zareta Aniuarovna 
  58. Perekaty, Nataliya Ivanovna 
  59. Peresunko, Denis Petrovich
  60. Pechko, Galina Aleksandrovna 
  61. Ponomareva, Olga Vladimirovna 
  62. Ponomarenko, Yury Viktorovich 
  63. Popkova, Yuliya Yurievna 
  64. Popov, Pavel Nikolaevich 
  65. Popras, Aleksandr Ivanovich 
  66. Portnaygina, Maria Aleksandrovna 
  67. Potapov, Mikhail Nikolaevich 
  68. Prilepsky, Aleksandr Sergeevich 
  69. Prokhorov, Nikolai Vladimirovich 
  70. Putivskaya, Anzhela Nikolaevna 
  71. Redozubov, Yury Yurievich 
  72. Reshetnikov, Mikhail Nikolaevich 
  73. Savelieva, Elena Petrovna 
  74. Salmanov, Nikolai Sergeevich 
  75. Senin, Anatoly Anatolievich
  76. Shulgina, Olga Panteleevna 
  77. Shutov Aleksandr
  78. Shchanikov, Viktor Nikolaevich 
  79. Starikov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich 
  80. Sushilnikov, Sergei Vasilievich 
  81. Syrykh, Vitaly Yurievich 
  82. Tsikunov, Aleksandr Gennadievich 
  83. Ushakhin, Sergei Vitalievich 
  84. Vyushin, Andrei Evgenievich 
  85. Vorontsov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich 
  86. Vyrezkova, Svetlana Vitalievna 
  87. Yakovlev, Valery Porfirievich
  88. Zabora, Sergei Vasilievich 
  89. Zhivolupov, Roman Vladimirovich 
  90. Zinich, Evgeny Nikolaevich 
  91. Zotov, Konstantin Aleksandrovich

Translated by Rights in Russia

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