The current HRWF Database of comprises 149 documented individual cases of believers of all faiths: 127 Jehovah's Witnesses - 6 Protestants - 6 Muslims (Said Nursi) - 5 Muslims (Faizrakhman) - 2 Greek Catholic - Orthodox (2) - Shaman (1)

31.01.2024 - Another trial of Muslims meeting to study Nursi's works

Seven months after a Moscow court handed prison terms to six Muslims who met to study their faith using the works of Turkish theologian Said Nursi, the same court is hearing the case of two more. 45-year-old Zurab Dzhabrailov and 53-year-old Dzheykhun Rustamov have so far made two court appearances. The two have been held at Butyrka prison since August 2023. Investigative Committee and FSB security service documents seen by Forum 18 reveal the investigation – which has involved covert surveillance - has been ongoing since 2017.

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The prosecution of Muslims who study the works of the late Turkish theologian Said Nursi is continuing in Moscow with the trial of two more men on charges of "organizing" and "participating in" the activities of "Nurdzhular", which was banned as extremist in 2008 but which Muslims in Russia deny has ever existed as a formal organization. Typically, such Muslims meet in homes to study Islam, with one or more expounding on Nursi's works. They also pray, eat, and drink tea together, and do not seek state permission to meet.

30.01.2024 - Four Jehovah's Witnesses from Samara were sentenced to seven years in prison.

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Denis Kuzyanin, Sergei Polosenko, Nikolai Vasilyev and Aram Danielyan were found guilty under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code.

On Jan. 25, 2024, the Samara District Court of Samara sentenced Jehovah's Witnesses Denis Kuzyanin, Sergei Polosenko, Nikolai Vasilyev and Aram Danielyan to seven years in a general regime colony. The believers were found guilty under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organizing the activities of an extremist organization), they were taken into custody in the courtroom.

On the same day, at the debate stage, the state prosecutor asked that the defendants be sentenced to nine years in prison. According to investigators, from December 2020 to December 2021, the defendants in the case held religious services and organized the activities of the Volzhskaya cell, which was part of the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

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26.01.2024 - Jehovah's Witness from Prokopyevsk sentenced to 2 years 10 months of forced labor

On Jan. 15, 2024, the Central District Court of Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo Region, sentenced Jehovah's Witness Pavel Brilkov to two years and ten months of forced labor. He was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist organization).

On Dec. 18, 2023, during the debate, the prosecution asked that the believer be sentenced to three years of forced labor. Initially, the prosecutor requested three years in prison, but later took into account Brilkov’s retirement age and disability and asked for a more lenient sentence.

25.01.2024 - A court in Orenburg confirmed the sentence of five Jehovah's Witnesses

Previously, believers were sentenced to two and a half to three and a half years of suspended imprisonment.

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On Jan. 24, 2024, the Orenburg Regional Court confirmed the verdict of five Jehovah's Witnesses under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist organization).

On Aug. 28, 2023, the Industrial District Court of Orenburg sentenced believers Sergei Logunov and Nikolai Zhugin to two years and six months of suspended imprisonment with a probationary period of two years and restriction of freedom for eight months. Their co-religionist Vladimir Kochnev received a suspended sentence of two years and eight months, a probationary period of two years and two months, and a restriction of freedom for ten months. Jehovah's Witness Pavel Lekontsev was sentenced to three years’ probation with a probationary period of two and a half years and restriction of freedom for 10 months, and the believer Vladislav Kolbanov was sentenced to three and a half years of probation with a probationary period of three years and restriction of freedom for ten months.

25.01.2024 - Residents of Yekaterinburg protest against a Muslim charity house because they are afraid of anthrax

On Jan. 22, 2024, it became known that residents of Yekaterinburg opposed the construction of a charitable Muslim house of the Islam Nury organization. Townspeople fear that during construction the cattle burial ground will be damaged and anthrax infection will occur.

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The authorities of the Ordzhonikidze district of the city notified residents of the village of Sadovy about the upcoming construction at the end of 2023. It is assumed that a two-story building will be erected on Verstovaya Street, which will house an event hall for 40 people, a library, educational and administrative premises.

25.01.2024 - The first sentence for faith in the Samara region.

On Jan. 25, 2024, Judge Tatyana Begunova of the Central District Court of Tolyatti found Sona Olopova guilty of extremism because of her religion and sentenced her to 2 years of forced labor. She will serve her sentence in a correctional center. The believer considers the sentence unfair.

"The evidence presented by the prosecution does not confirm my guilt in committing a crime. All arguments boil down to the fact that . . . in the city of Tolyatti, a small group of people professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses held worship services, which began with song and prayer and were aimed at discussing the Bible," Sona said in court.

24.01.2024 - A Court in Cherkessk reviewed Yelena Menchikova's case and found her guilty of extremism again for talking about the Bible

Yelena Menchikova, 59, was found guilty again - on Jan. 23, 2024, the judge of the Cherkessk City Court, Nauruz Shukurov, sentenced the woman with a disability to four and a half years suspended with a probation period of two and a half years because of her religion.

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As Yelena noted, speaking in court, the charges boil down to the fact that she invited friends "to study the Holy Scriptures (Bible), consisting of collective singing of songs, prayers, and the study of religious articles." "I never imagined that hospitality in the Caucasus would turn out to be such a grave crime and that punishment would follow," the believer said. At the same time, the indictment does not contain a specific description of what manifestations of extremism, when and under what circumstances Menchikova allowed.

22.01.2024 - In the Altai Territory, an investigation is underway into the activities of a group of adherents of the Alla-Ayat teachings.

It is reported that searches were carried out in a criminal case regarding the organization of the activities of an extremist organization.

On Jan. 2024, it became known that in the Altai Territory, as part of a criminal investigation, searches were carried out at the premises of alleged adherents of the Alla-Ayat teaching. As the regional FSB department reported on January 22, the case was opened under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organizing the activities of an extremist organization).

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19.01.2024 - Four residents of Krasnodar were fined for collaborating with undesirable Falun Gong organizations

On Jan. 18, 2024, it became known that the Prikubansky District Court of Krasnodar fined four local residents under Art. 20.33 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (participation in the activities of a foreign or international non-governmental organization in respect of which a decision has been made to recognize its activities as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation).

The court found that the defendants took part in the activities of the association "Falun Dafa Cultivation Center", which implements projects and programs and distributes materials of the Buddhist community "Springs of the Dragon", the European Association of "Falun Dafa", "Friends of Falun Gong", and the World Rescue Council persecuted Falun Gong adherents, whose activities are recognized as undesirable in Russia.

The court fined each of the four defendants five thousand rubles. All four admitted their guilt.

18.01.2024 - The imam-khatib of the mosque in the village of Toothpick Second was fined for possessing an Islamic book.

Akhmat Abuzyarov was found guilty under Art. 20.29 Code of Administrative Offences. On Jan. 15, 2024, the Perevolotsky District Court of the Orenburg Region fined two thousand rubles under Art. 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (storage of extremist materials for the purpose of mass distribution) of Akhmat Abuzyarov, imam-khatib of the mosque in the village of Toothpick Second, and confiscated the printed material confiscated from him.

17.01.2024 - Court sentenced Nikolay Saparov, one of Jehovah's Witness from Adygea, to 6 years in prison

On Jan. 17, 2024, the judge of the Maykop City Court of the Republic of Adygea, Zaurbiy Birzhev, found Nikolay Saparov guilty of extremism and sentenced him to 6 years in a general regime colony with restriction of liberty for 1 year.

The believer does not agree with the verdict and is ready to appeal it to higher authorities. The prosecutor requested 7.5 years in a general regime colony for him.

In March 2022, Nikolay Saparov was detained at the airport in Mineralnye Vody, where he was waiting for departure with his wife and minor daughter. He was taken about 300 km away to the law enforcement department in Adygea for interrogation. As Nikolay stated during one of the court hearings, the security forces beat him along the way, and, using an electric shocker, forced him to take the blame for extremism. According to investigators, Saparov committed "actions of an organizational nature ... expressed in meetings using the Internet ... coordination of talks and religious services at these meetings."

16.01.2024 - The verdict of a Jehovah's Witness from Novokuznetsk has been confirmed

Tatyana Sushilnikova was sentenced to four years of suspended imprisonment under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code.

On Jan. 16, 2024, the Kemerovo Regional Court confirmed the verdict of Jehovah's Witness Tatyana Sushilnikova, whom the Kuznetsk District Court of Novokuznetsk on Nov. 15, 2023 found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in the activities of an extremist organization),  giving her a sentence of four years of suspended imprisonment with a three-year probationary period, as well as an additional punishment of 10 months of restriction of freedom.

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