Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

Russia: "Anti-missionary" punishments full listing

Publisher Forum 18
Author Victoria Arnold
Publication Date 9 August 2017
Cite as Forum 18, Russia: "Anti-missionary" punishments full listing, 9 August 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/598c0e7f4.html [accessed 21 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

More than 180 individuals and communities have been brought to court in the year since "anti-missionary" punishments came into force on 20 July 2016. Forum 18's list of known cases documents the wide range of people and communities across Russia subjected to such punishments.

More than 180 administrative cases to punish individuals and communities for violating Russia's "anti-missionary" restrictions are known to have reached court in the year since they came into force on 20 July 2016. Prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4, and 5 have steadily increased throughout this period.

Article 5.26, Part 3 punishes "Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label".

Article 5.26, Part 4 punishes "Russians conducting missionary activity". Part 5 punishes "Foreigners conducting missionary activity" (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

Forum 18 found 181 cases against 129 individuals and 52 religious communities which reached court between 20 July 2016 (when the amendments entered legal force) and 20 July 2017. Of these, 133 resulted in initial convictions, with 130 fines being imposed. Of the foreigners prosecuted, 5 were ordered deported (though one of these had the deportation order overturned on appeal). More than half the regions in Russia have seen at least one prosecution. Russian citizens comprise the majority of defendants (see F18News 8 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305).

Russia has also imposed this legislation in Crimea, which it occupied in March 2014. Forum 18 found 27 administrative cases in the year of the "anti-missionary" punishments there, resulting in fines in 16 of the cases so far (see F18News 24 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2299).

All prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4 and 5 known to have reached court between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017 are listed below, ordered by date of court hearing. The list is based on court decisions and court records seen by Forum 18. For a full analysis, see F18News 8 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305.

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- Known Article 5.26, Part 3 cases ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label")

1) 10 November 2016

Name: Administrative Centre of the New Apostolic Church in Russia

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Donskoi District Magistrate's Court No. 245, Moscow

Circumstances: during Justice Ministry inspection of organisation's documents, it was found that the Centre was not using its full name in its activities, including in its contract with the Beeline phone and internet company, on its audio discs and magazine, and on its website

Appeal: none

2) 10 November 2016

Name: Sharypovo Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community held a gathering of parishioners for Bible study "without specifying its official full name" - monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"

Appeal: unsuccessful - 19 December 2016, Sharypovo City Court

3) 10 November 2016

Name: Igor Osipenko

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community chair "committed an administrative offence in the form of inaction, as expressed in the implementation by the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of activity (a gathering of parishioners for Bible study) without specifying its official full name" - monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"

Appeal: unsuccessful - 22 December, Sharypovo City Court

4) 24 November 2016

Name: Jehovah's Witness community, Khabarovsk

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Industrial District Magistrate's Court No. 13, Khabarovsk

Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection of Jehovah's Witness premises on 29 October found lack of signage or other information indicating official name of the organisation; representatives M.Yu. Tridtsatko and S.S. Sergeyev explained that between 2015 and October 2016 the building's facade had been undergoing repairs and argued that organisation carried out no activities during inspection - this was disregarded by judge; prosecution insisted that the sign was absent before repairs

Appeal: unsuccessful - 26 December, Industrial District Court

5) 28 November 2016

Name: Jehovah's Witness community of Zelenogorsk

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Zelenogorsk Magistrate's Court No. 30, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: FSB inspection of Jehovah's Witnesses' religious activities found that they were holding services in rented premises without displaying their full official name

Appeal: unsuccessful - 18 January 2017, Zelenogorsk City Court

6) 16 December 2016

Name: Word of Life Pentecostal Church, Samara

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 54, Samara

Circumstances: accused of not displaying full name on religious literature; church argued that literature sold by individual entrepreneur in same premises (local deaf society), who obtained it from separate Pentecostal organisation

Appeal: unsuccessful - 10 March 2017, Soviet District Court, Samara

7) 20 December 2016

Name: Salvation Army

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation and destruction of literature, incl. bibles

Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Vladivostok

Circumstances: a prosecutor's office inspection of the community's premises found books and magazines without a stamp/logo showing the organisation's official full name

Appeal: by prosecution re. destruction order - 30 December, Lenin District Court; but destruction order lifted at request of prosecutor (also requested that literature not be confiscated, but this was denied)

8) 30 December 2016

Name: Vitaly Shmidt, pastor

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature

Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Ulyanovsk

Circumstances: Cornerstone Protestant church pastor accused of distributing religious literature without official stamp - the literature was in fact left on a table for parishioners to take as they wished, in the foyer of their rented premises; anti-extremism police officer claimed that non-members of the religious organisation were present at the service and anyone could have picked up the literature

Appeal: unsuccessful - 8 February 2017, Lenin District Court, Ulyanovsk

9) 12 January 2017

Name: Salvation in Jesus Evangelical Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita

Circumstances: community accused of distributing a brochure which did not display the full official name of the organisation

Appeal: sent for re-examination - 31 January 2017, Central District Court; acquitted on retrial - 10 February 2017, Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita

10) 19 January 2017

Name: Faith, Hope, Love Seventh-day Adventist Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation (but not destruction) of literature

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chita

Circumstances: during a planned inspection of legal entities, the church submitted literature and newspapers to the regional Justice Ministry branch as part of information on its missionary activities - this allegedly did not bear the church's official full name or official stamp

Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 February 2017, Central District Court, Chita; supervisory appeal unsuccessful (returned without consideration) - 4 April 2017, Zabaikalsk Regional Court

11) 8 February 2017

Name: Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Christian Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation and destruction of materials

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: church members distributed religious literature (including Bibles) and CDs, which did not have stamps with the full official name of the organisation, among clients of drug and alcohol rehab centre; also charged under Part 4 (see below)

Appeal: unsuccessful - 6 April 2017, Prigorodny District Court, Sverdlovsk Region; supervisory appeal unsuccessful - 7 July 2017, Sverdlovsk Regional Court

12) 6 March 2017

Name: Siberian Christian Mission of Mercy

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 88, Krasnoyarsk

Circumstances: Evangelical organisation did not display full official name - details unknown

Appeal: unsuccessful - 24 April 2017, Soviet District Court, Krasnoyarsk

13) 9 March 2017

Name: Aksyonovo Muslim community

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Lyambir District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community accused of "carrying out religious activity without displaying its full official name", because it did not have a sign showing this on the façade of its mosque; judge accepted that the full official name was shown on an interior wall of the mosque, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 19 April 2017, Lyambir District Court, Republic of Mordovia; supervisory appeal by police, unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 15 May 2017, Supreme Court of the Republic of Mordovia

14) 15 March 2017

Name: Good News Evangelical Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Kirov District Magistrate's Court No.3, Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan

Circumstances: organisation "carried out its activities" without displaying its full official name (details unspecified); pastor argues that church had decided to self-liquidate in January 2016 because of a lack of parishioners, but the procedure has not yet been carried out

Appeal: unsuccessful - 31 May 2017, Kirov District Court, Makhachkala

15) 15 March 2017

Name: Glorification Evangelical Church, Sharypovo

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 130, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Mikhailov (below) - according to FSB surveillance and prosecutor's office inspection of (registered) Evangelical church's premises, the building did not have sign on its facade showing the religious organisation's full official name; ignored the fact that, according to the Baptists, the church had an information stand inside with full details

Appeal: unsuccessful (returned without consideration) - supervisory, 2 June 2017, Krasnoyarsk Regional Court; unsuccessful - 24 April 2017, Sharypovo City Court

16) 15 March 2017

Name: Aleksandr Mikhailov, pastor

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 130, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Glorification Church (above) - according to FSB surveillance and prosecutor's office inspection of Evangelical church's premises, the building did not have sign on its facade showing the religious organisation's full official name; ignored the fact that, according to the Baptists, the church had an information stand inside with full details

Appeal: successful (statute of limitations) - supervisory, 30 June 2017, Krasnoyarsk Regional Court; previously unsuccessful - 24 April 2017, Sharypovo City Court

17) 17 March 2017

Name: Tauba Muslim community

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Romodanovo District Magistrate's Court, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community charged with "carrying out religious activities" while not having a sign with its full legal name on the facade of its building - judge accepted that the relevant information could be found on a sign inside the building, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 12 May 2017, Romodanovo District Court

18) 17 March 2017

Name: Ramazan Muslim community

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Romodanovo District Magistrate's Court, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community charged with "carrying out religious activities" while not having a sign with its full legal name on the facade of its building - judge accepted that the relevant information could be found on a sign inside the building, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 12 May 2017, Romodanovo District Court

19) 17 March 2017

Name: Dzhuma Muslim community

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Romodanovo District Magistrate's Court, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community charged with "carrying out religious activities" while not having a sign with its full legal name on the facade of its building - judge accepted that the relevant information could be found on a sign inside the building, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 12 May 2017, Romodanovo District Court

20) 27 March 2017

Name: Oleg Gorobets, pastor of Rebirth Baptist Union Church, Samara

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Industrial District Magistrate's Court No. 40, Samara

Circumstances: prosecutor's office, police, and fire service inspection of a house being used for a service by the Baptist church (inspection considered illegal by pastor as property's private owner had not been informed and church was not registered at this address) found that the building did not have a sign displaying the church's full official name; pastor argued that they did have an information stand displaying it in the corridor

Appeal: unsuccessful - 2 May 2017, Industrial District Court, Samara

21) 29 March 2017

Name: A.V. Tselykh

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Dyomsk District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: defendant of unknown Christian denomination charged with distributing literature without labels showing his religious group's full official name - this consisted of New Testaments and Psalters handed out to regular attendees at services in his own home; gardener had reported to police that "sectarians" had been meeting and praying in the garden

Appeal: none

22) 30 March 2017

Name: Al-Radzhab Muslim community, Belozerye village

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Romodanovsky District Magistrate's Court, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community charged with "carrying out religious activities" while not having a sign with its full legal name on the façade of its building - judge accepted that the relevant information could be found on a sign inside the building, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 22 May 2017, Romodanovsky District Court

23) 30 March 2017

Name: Al-Furkan Muslim community, Belozerye village

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Romodanovsky District Magistrate's Court, Republic of Mordovia

Circumstances: community charged with "carrying out religious activities" while not having a sign with its full legal name on the façade of its building - judge accepted that the relevant information could be found on a sign inside the building, which the police "ignored or did not check"

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 22 May 2017, Romodanovsky District Court

24) 30 March 2017

Name: Andrei Okhapkin, chair of Kineshma Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: none - case returned to police

Court: Kineshma District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Ivanovo Region

Circumstances: house belonging to the Jehovah's Witness community did not display a sign with its full official name - judge says that ownership of the house is not in itself evidence that religious activity was taking place inside

Appeal: by police against return?, unsuccessful - 19 July 2017, Kineshma City Court, Ivanovo Region

25) ? April 2017

Name: House of Life Evangelical Church, Vladivostok

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 22, Vladivostok

Circumstances: church accused of "holding a religious event, with free and open entry" (details unclear), without displaying its full official name

Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 June 2017, Soviet District Court, Vladivostok

26) ? April 2017

Name: Presbyterian Spiritual Seminary

Punishment: none - because of the "insignificance" of the offence

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 23, Vladivostok

Circumstances: books in the seminary's library did not have labels displaying the organisation's full official name, thus, according to prosecutors, the seminary "carried out religious activity, including the publication or distribution of literature and printed material as part of missionary activity" in violation of the Religion Law

Appeal: by prosecution, unsuccessful - 24 May 2017, Soviet District Court, Vladivostok

27) 3 April 2017

Name: Light of Truth Pentecostal Church, Bryansk

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 14, Bryansk

Circumstances: church accused of "carrying out its activities without displaying its full official name", by not having a sign outside its building

Appeal: none

28) 3 April 2017

Name: House of Prayer Evangelical Church

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sretensk District Magistrate's Court No. 57, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection found that a house used for worship services did not have a sign showing the church's full official name

Appeal: unsuccessful - 4 May 2017, Sretensk District Court, Zabaikalsk Region

29) 6 April 2017

Name: Antioch Baptist Union Church, Chita

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of materials

Court: Chita District Magistrate's Court No. 33, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: church charged because members Mikhail Bezgans and V.V. Volkov (both Part 4, below) handed out religious calendars and New Testaments and Psalters in the street, which did not bear the church's full official name; defence argued that Bezgans and Volkov did this on their own initiative and the church neither produced the materials nor organised its distribution

Appeal: unsuccessful - 21 June 2017, Chita District Court, Zabaikalsk Region; supervisory appeal lodged at Zabaikalsk Regional Court on 31 July 2017

30) 12 April 2017

Name: Central Nizhny Novgorod Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Avtozavodsky District Court, Nizhny Novgorod

Circumstances: failed to display full official name - details unknown

Appeal: unsuccessful - 6 July 2017, Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court

31) 14 April 2017

Name: Jesus Christ Pentecostal Church, Nizhny Tagil

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: church accused of, in the period October 2015 to 15 February 2017, "carrying out activity without displaying its full official name, including the distribution, as part of missionary activity, of literature and video materials without labels showing its full official name or with labels on which information about [the church's] state registration was absent"; church's lawyer argued that the address where prosecutor's office officials had found the literature was a private home where the church had never carried out any missionary or other activity

Appeal: unsuccessful - 5 July 2017, Prigorodny District Court, Sverdlovsk Region

32) 19 April 2017

Name: Pentecostal Church of the Last Time

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Railway District Magistrate's Court No. 48, Krasnoyarsk

Circumstances: church accused of "an administrative violation in the form of lack of action" by failing to display its full official name when 12 members met for Bible study in an office building

Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 June 2017, Railway District Court, Krasnoyarsk

33) 27 April 2017

Name: Salsk Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 40,000 Roubles

Court: Salsk District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Rostov Region

Circumstances: community accused of "carrying out the activities of a religious organisation without displaying its full official name", i.e. without a sign displaying this on its building - organisation argued that it did not own the building and therefore could not make alterations to its facade

Appeal: none

34) 28 April 2017

Name: Source of Life Pentecostal Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature

Court: Lesozavodsk District Magistrate's Court, Syktyvkar, Komi Republic

Circumstances: pastor accused of distributing literature not bearing the church's full official name, "as part of missionary activity, linked to worship services and the giving of sermons…with the goal of involving citizens in the religious organisation"; pastor and chair argued that the literature was not intended for "missionary" use and had in fact been kept in a locked glass cabinet; police insisted that the "church library" was accessible to anyone who wanted to buy literature - when they arrived, a person was on duty to facilitate this

Appeal: unsuccessful - 26 June 2017, Syktyvkar City Court, Komi Republic

35) 2 May 2017

Name: Ildar Urazbakhtin, chair of Boguchany Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: none - case returned to police/prosecutors for technical reasons

Court: Kezhemsky District Magistrate's Court No. 43, Krasnoyarsk Region

Circumstances: did not display full official name - details unknown

Appeal: by prosecution against return, unsuccessful - 12 May 2017, Kezhemsky District Court, Krasnoyarsk Region

36) 2 May 2017

Name: Ivanovo Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 35,000 Roubles

Court: October District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Ivanovo

Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection of the Jehovah's Witnesses' building found that its sign did not display its full official name

Appeal: none

37) 10 May 2017

Name: Ernist Mikhailov, chair of Jewish community Among Your Own

Punishment: none yet - sent back to police/prosecutors by court

Court: Khamovniki District Magistrate's Court No. 425, Moscow

Circumstances: same case as Among Your Own community (below) - prosecutor's office inspected synagogue to check compliance with law on non-commercial organisations, at request of FSB and found literature without labels showing full official name, video material labelled with an incomplete name, and a sign at the entrance reading only "Sredi Svoikh", which is not the organisation's full official name

Appeal: by prosecution against return, outcome unknown - 24 July 2017, Khamovniki District Court, Moscow

38) 17 May 2017

Name: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature

Court: Chkalov District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Yekaterinburg

Circumstances: church accused of distributing literature not labelled with its full official name "as part of its missionary activities"

Appeal: unsuccessful - Chkalov District Court, 5 July 2017

39) 19 May 2017

Name: Glory of God Pentecostal church, Syktyvkar

Punishment: unknown fine plus confiscation of literature

Court: Dmitrovsky District Magistrate's Court, Syktyvkar, Komi Republic

Circumstances: church accused of distributing literature not labelled with its full official name "as part of its missionary activity, related to the conduct of sermons and services"

Appeal: successful (insufficient evidence; literature to be returned to owner) - 27 June 2017, Syktyvkar City Court

40) 29 May 2017

Name: New Testament Evangelical Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Lyubertsy District Magistrate's Court No. 122, Moscow Region

Circumstances: church charged with "carrying out activities" without showing its full official name on its building - chair "recognised guilt", explaining that the sign had been stolen and a new one ordered, but that this had not been delivered before the city prosecutor's office inspection of the premises (it was delivered the next day)

Appeal: unsuccessful - 22 June 2017, Lyubertsy City Court

41) 6 June 2017

Name: Embassy of Christ Union of Evangelical Churches in Nizhny Novgorod Region

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Nizhny Novgorod

Circumstances: regional Pentecostal association charged with distributing video material not bearing its full official name on VKontakte and YouTube

Appeal: unsuccessful - 11 July 2017, Moscow District Court, Nizhny Novgorod; supervisory appeal unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 28 July 2017, Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court

42) 8 June 2017

Name: Salvation in Jesus Evangelical Church

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita

Circumstances: unknown - did not display full official name

Appeal: successful - 10 July 2017, Central District Court, Chita

43) 9 June 2017

Name: Embassy of Christ Biblical Centre, Nizhny Novgorod

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Nizhny Novgorod

Circumstances: Pentecostal organisation charged with distributing literature and video material not bearing its full official name - for uploading/sharing materials from its regional-level body (see above) on its VKontakte page

Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 July 2017, Moscow District Court, Nizhny Novgorod; supervisory appeal unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 28 July 2017, Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court

44) 13 June 2017

Name: V.M. Maltsev

Punishment: none - returned to police for technical reasons and not resubmitted

Court: Leningrad District Court, Kaliningrad

Circumstances: defendant charged with giving another person a copy of the New Testament and other Christian literature at the premises of the Association of Local Churches of Evangelical Christians, though no mention of these not bearing the organisation's full official name; previously returned to police on 10 May

Appeal: none yet known

45) 14 June 2017

Name: Liberation in Jesus Evangelical Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Krasnokamensk District Magistrate's Court No. 41, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: church charged with not having its full official name on its website, interpreted as "carrying out the activities of a religious association, aimed at disseminating information about its beliefs among people who are not participants (members, followers)…with the goal of making such people participants in the religious organisation, publicly, by means of the internet" between 21 September 2014 and 24 May 2017; and with holding religious rites and ceremonies in a building which did not display its full official name

Appeal: due to be heard on 10 August 2017, Krasnokamensk City Court, Zabaikalsk Region

46) 19 June 2017

Name: Light of Christ Pentecostal Church, Nizhny Novgorod

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Nizhny Novgorod

Circumstances: community charged with distributing literature not bearing its full official name

Appeal: none yet known

47) 5 July 2017

Name: Transfiguration Evangelical Church

Punishment: warning, plus confiscation of literature

Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chelyabinsk

Circumstances: anti-extremism police inspection of church premises found religious literature not bearing the organisation's full official name - church accused of distributing literature "as part of missionary activity" without proper labels

Appeal: none yet known

48) 5 July 2017

Name: Voice of Hope Evangelical Church

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Arzamas District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Nizhny Novgorod Region

Circumstances: community charged with not having a sign on its building with its full official name, discovered by police after they "received information at the station"; pastor (in whose house services take place) argued that the law does not specify where the full official name should be displayed, and while there is no sign outside, the community's certificate of state registration is displayed on an interior door; police officer claims in court that this was only put up after his initial inspection of the premises

Appeal: none yet known

49) 12 July 2017

Name: Dmitry Taranenko, chair of Chelyabinsk Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: warning

Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chelyabinsk

Circumstances: defendant accused of carrying out missionary activity without displaying his organisation's full official name at the entrance of the private house where services were held or inside it - uncovered during police raid on the premises during a service; defendant argues that individuals cannot be charged under Part 3, but judge disagrees - imposes warning because it is a first offence which poses no threat to life, health, property, or security

Appeal: none yet known

50) 17 July 2017

Name: Among Your Own [Sredi Svoikh] Jewish community

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles, no confiscation of materials

Court: Khamovniki District Magistrate's Court No. 366/425, Moscow

Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspected Federation of Jewish Communities synagogue to check compliance with law on non-commercial organisations, at request of FSB - found literature without labels showing full official name, video material labelled with an incomplete name, and a sign at the entrance reading only "Sredi Svoikh", which is not the organisation's full official name

Appeal: none yet known

51) 17 July 2017

Name: Makhalla-Mosque No. 2230, Korkino

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of materials

Court: Korkino District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chelyabinsk Region

Circumstances: as a result of prosecutor's office inspection of mosque to check compliance with anti-extremism legislation and the Religion Law, Muslim community accused of distributing religious literature without labels displaying its full official name

Appeal: none yet known

52) 19 July 2017

Name: Baptist Union Church of Vanino

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles

Court: Vanino District Magistrate's Court No. 49, Khabarovsk Region

Circumstances: community charged with not having a sign on their building showing the organisation's full official name

Appeal: lodged at Vanino District Court on 2 August 2017 - no hearing date yet set

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- Known cases under Article 5.26, Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity") and Part 5 ("Foreigners conducting missionary activity")

1) 1 August 2016

Part 5

Name: Ebenezer Tuah

Punishment: 50,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Court, Tver

Circumstances: Ghanaian Christ Embassy Protestant leader detained during raid by police and prosecutors on a sanatorium where he was conducting baptisms; charged on 31 July (therefore third person to be charged); accused of conducting "religious rites and ceremonies, including religious gatherings, [posting] information about his beliefs on the internet with the aim of propagandising, and [performing] missionary activity...without the required documents", ie. written authorisation from group and evidence that group had notified Justice Ministry of existence

Appeal: unsuccessful - Tver Regional Court, 9 November 2016; supervisory appeal unsuccessful - 22 December 2016, Tver Regional Court

2) 5 August 2016

Part 4

Name: Aleksei Teleus

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Magistrate's Court No. 3, Noyabrsk, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region

Circumstances - Baptist Union pastor charged because children using playground at prayer house might have been able to hear sermons and prayers from inside and have access to religious literature; officials deemed playground an "unsanctioned children's camp" on 20 July, charges issued on 22 July (therefore first person to be charged)

Appeal: none

3) 14 August 2016

Part 5

Name: Donald Ossewaarde

Punishment: 40,000 Roubles

Court: Railway District Court, Oryol

Circumstances: American independent Baptist preacher legally resident in Russia charged for holding worship services in his home and advertising them on bulletin boards in residential building (which he denies); three police officers came to a service unannounced, then took Ossewaarde to the police station to be charged, then directly to court

Appeal: unsuccessful - Oryol Regional Court, 30 September 2016; supervisory appeal unsuccessful - Oryol Regional Court, 15 November 2016; Supreme Court appeal - unsuccessful, 20 January 2017; Constitutional Court appeal - unsuccessful, 28 February 2017; appeal lodged at European Court of Human Rights, 30 March 2017

4) 15 August 2016

Part 4

Name: Vadim Sibiryev

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Magistrate's Court No. 3, Cherkessk

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent handed out religious literature in the street on 22 July and a recipient reported him to police; Sibiryev was charged on 28 July (therefore second person to be charged); the judge agreed that Sibiryev had been distributing literature as a private person, not as a representative of a religious association, therefore his actions did not "contain the attributes of missionary activity"

Appeal: none

5) 31 August 2016

Part 4

Name: Aleksandr Yakimov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Sernur District Magistrate's Court No. 36, Mari-El Republic

Circumstances: New Generation Pentecostal leader charged on 5 August for speaking at a village festival with a banner on stage bearing the name of his church; district prosecutor's office argued that he conducted "missionary activity" in a place not designated for it in the Religion Law and without written authorisation from a registered religious organisation

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sernur District Court, 7 October

6) 5 September 2016

Part 4

Name: Archbishop Sergei Zhuravlyov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Frunze District Magistrate's Court No. 181, St. Petersburg

Circumstances: Archbishop of Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church gave sermon at Messianic Jewish community on 27 August; police detained him during sermon, having received a message suggesting he was trying to convert Jews to Orthodoxy

Appeal: none

7) 8 September 2016

Part 4

Name: Geshe Gualtso Dakpa

Punishment: none - sent back and not resubmitted (though detained for separate offence)

Court: Southern District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Kyzyl, Tuva Republic

Circumstances: Buddhist monk (Indian-born, but a Russian citizen), director of "Centre for the Teachings of Nagarzhuna" in Kyzyl, gave lecture and performed "religious rites" in a hotel conference hall; found guilty of possession of narcotic substances without intent to sell and detained for one day; according to court website, "missionary" case sent back

Appeal: none

8) 14 September 2016

Part 5

Name: Kalsang Dkhondul

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Kyzyl City Court, Tuva Republic

Circumstances: "stateless person" accused of giving a lecture and performing rituals in a hotel conference hall (same case as Dakpa above) without the necessary written authorisation from the local Buddhist Mahayana religious organisation; judge concludes that evidence of an offence is insufficient

Appeal: none

9) 14 September 2016

Part 5

Name: Irina Tishchenko

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Factory District Court, Kemerovo

Circumstances: Ukrainian New Generation Pentecostal pastor, invited to visit local congregations, charged on 22 August for addressing private group of church members in the local pastor's home; detained by police in the early hours of following morning; case originally submitted to a magistrate, who sent it to the district court on 25 August

Appeal: unsuccessful - Kemerovo Regional Court, 21 November 2016

10) 4 October 2016

Part 4

Name: Ivan Denisov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Lomonosov District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Arkhangelsk

Circumstances: Protestant leader (House of the Potter Church) charged with involving minors in a religious event on 29 July without their parents' written agreement - pleaded guilty; anti-extremism police "received information" that "unknown young people" had been handing out flyers advertising musical performances on 28/29/30 July, with free entry and free refreshments; from court verdict "According to available information, in the course of this concert religious rites may have been conducted in order to involve those present in a religious organisation of a destructive orientation (a sect), and negative opinions expressed against the Orthodox Church. Thus, in the actions of unidentified persons may perhaps have been seen signs of acts aimed at inciting hatred and enmity towards members of other religions. Possibly the spread of extremist literature, as well as the presence of minors at the event"

Appeal: none

11) 11 October 2016

Part 4

Name: S.P Kozin

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Kaliningrad

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness (same case as Furman - see below); details unknown

Appeal: none

12) 13 October 2016

Part 4

Name: Mayma Seventh-day Adventist Church

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Mayma District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Altai Republic

Circumstances: community accused of distributing book "Ten Rules for a Happy Life", in which recipients are invited to study the Bible via correspondence course - judge concludes that they did not violate any of the explicit prohibitions in the Religion Law

Appeal: none

13) 17 October 2016

Part 4

Name: Andrei Matyuzhov

Punishment: 40,000 Roubles

Court: Factory District Court, Kemerovo

Circumstances : New Generation Pentecostal pastor, charged 27 September for "missionary activity" in the absence of written authorisation from the religious group and proof of notification of the religious group's existence; Matyuzhov argued that this was a service in his home for friends and family, and that he did in fact have authorisation for missionary activity from the New Generation centralised religious organisation, and has subsequently submitted notification of his religious group's activities to the Justice Ministry

Appeal: verdict overturned - 30 November, Kemerovo Regional Court - and case sent for re-examination; retrial at Factory District Magistrate's Court No. 7 on 10 January 2017 - case closed because of expiry of statute of limitations (2/3 months for administrative cases), but guilt upheld

14) 26 October 2016

Part 5

Name: William Curtis Norton, Jr.

Punishment: none - case sent back and not resubmitted

Court: Lenin District Court, Ulyanovsk

Circumstances: American charged with preaching at a Seventh-day Adventist meeting without a work permit, civil contract with a religious organisation, or an invitation from a religious organisation; judge sent case back because of technical problems

Appeal: none

15) 27 October 2016

Part 4

Name: Ivan Kumbrasyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Tver

Circumstances: Protestant pastor accused of carrying out "religious rites and ceremonies" on sanatorium premises and advertising them on the internet, "without the necessary documents and conditions" - Justice Ministry confirmed that Cornerstone Church (a religious group) has not submitted notification of its existence

Appeal: none

16) 9 November 2016

Part 4

Name: I.V. Parmon

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Kaliningrad

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness; with Kus (see below), engaged in conversation about the Bible with a man in the communal entrance to an apartment block, who reported them to the police for "promoting religious literature", which they denied; according to Jehovah's Witness press service, the judge, however, "noted that the Religion Law does not prohibit the dissemination of personal religious experience or dialogue on religious topics. The activities of believers who simply wanted to exercise their right to spread their religious views do not contain the set of attributes of missionary activity as established by law, and therefore cannot be regarded as a missionary"

Appeal: none

17) 11 November 2016

Part 5

Name: Ts. Kus

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Moscow District Court, Kaliningrad

Circumstances: Foreign citizen, Jehovah's Witness; same case as Parmon (see above)

Appeal: none

18) 15 November 2016

Part 4

Name: S.A. Furman

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Kaliningrad

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness (same case as Kozin - see above); details unknown

Appeal: none

19) 18 November 2016

Part 4

Name: Ivan Denisov

Punishment: 6,000 Roubles

Court: Lomonosov District Magistrate' Court No. 2, Arkhangelsk

Circumstances: Protestant leader (House of the Potter Church) charged with involving minors in a religious event on 16 September without their parents' written agreement - this time, a rap concert in a banqueting hall; pleaded not guilty; judge noted that advertising flyers did not state that the event was religious

Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 January 2017, Lomonosov District Court

20) 27 November 2016

Part 4

Name: Olga Matyuzhova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Factory District Court, Kemerovo

Circumstances: New Generation Pentecostal pastor, same case as Andrei Matyuzhov (above) - accused of making "a public speech in the form of a sermon, in the presence of people who were not members of the religious group", without authorisation from the group or written confirmation of notification of the authorities of group's existence

Appeal: unsuccessful - 28 December 2016, Kemerovo Regional Court; successful supervisory appeal (guilt upheld, but judge ruled case should have been heard in a magistrate's court and statute of limitations had expired) - 7 July 2017, Kemerovo Regional Court

21) 8 December 2016

Part 4

Name: L.G. Pyshnaya

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Svetly Magistrate's Court, Kaliningrad Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness accused of urging a man at a bus stop to "become acquainted with religious literature, with the Bible" and trying to "involve him in the religious association" - denied giving him any literature or encouraging him to join anything; the man himself could not confirm that she was a member of any religious organisation; the judge concluded that police had not provided indisputable evidence of missionary activity

Appeal: by prosecution, unsuccessful - 11 January 2017, Svetly City Court; by prosecution (supervisory), unsuccessful - Kaliningrad Regional Court, 3 April 2017 (had already been sent back twice by supervisory judge in February)

22) 14 December 2016

Part 4

Name: Andrei Puchkov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Tver

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent charged for organising a procession with music on 2 October; "experts" concluded that the event was missionary activity; also charged under Article 20.2, Part 1, for violating the established order for conducting public events (heard at Central District Court, 2 February 2017); defence claimed that neither Puchkov nor any other participant spoke to anybody about their beliefs or handed out literature

Appeal: successful - supervisory, 27 April 2017, Tver Regional Court

23) 16 December 2016

Part 4

Name: Vasili Zaitsev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Sernur District Magistrate's Court No. 36, Mari El Republic

Circumstances: village elder - organised festival addressed by Pastor Yakimov, who was fined in August (see above)

Appeal: none

24) 19 December 2016

Part 4

Name: Yuri Dachev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Maikop Magistrate's Court No. 3, Adygea

Circumstances: Word of Life Pentecostal Church pastor - details unknown

Appeal: none

25) 20 December 2016

Part 5

Name: Victor-Immanuel Mani

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus deportation

Court: Naberezhniye Chelny City Court, Tatarstan

Circumstances: Indian Evangelical Christian (with right of residence in Russia) charged for holding religious meetings in rented premises at a business centre and advertising them on the "Love of God" church's VKontakte page, which was openly accessible - without necessary authorisation documents from the local religious organisation itself; non-members of the church testified to being present at a particular meeting, having found the details on VKontakte; one claimed defendant had invited him to bring friends to the next meeting and had given him a religious book; defendant's wife and child are Russian citizens

Appeal: unsuccessful - 25 January 2017, Supreme Court of Tatarstan

26) 26 December 2016

Part 4

Name: V.S. Sidorov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Factory District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Oryol

Circumstances: Baptist charged with handing out invitations to church services (at unregistered Baptist church) and an event marking the 140th anniversary of the Russian Synodal translation of the Bible to passers-by in the street - without authorisation from a religious organisation or group

Appeal: successful (statute of limitations) - 7 February 2017, Factory District Court, Oryol

27) 27 December 2016

Part 4

Name: Exodus Evangelical Church

Punishment: 50,000 Roubles

Court: Chkalov District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Yekaterinburg

Circumstances: church charged with carrying out missionary activity ("rites and ceremonies") in rented accommodation which had not been leased to it for that purpose - rental agreement had been made between the building's owner and an individual church member, rather than the organisation; pastor argued that, as a pastor, he had the right to conduct missionary activity in any premises except residential

Appeal: unsuccessful - 16 March 2017, Chkalov District Court, Yekaterinburg

28) 9 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Andrei Sysolyatin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles plus destruction of literature

Court: Noyabrsk Magistrate's Court No. 1, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent charged for offering people religious literature in the street

Appeal: successful - Noyabrsk City Court, 29 March 2017

29) 10 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Andrei Puchkov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Proletarian District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Tver

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent charged for organising "Mantra Yoga" concert on 23 October of Indian music and chanting in "closed premises" but advertised on social media; prosecutors brought charges on 24 October but based on expert report of 20 October, produced before event had taken place

Appeal: successful - supervisory, 27 April 2017, Tver Regional Court

30) 10 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksei Mokiyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Pervomaisk District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Kirov

Circumstances: defendant accused of disseminating information about the Protestant religious group Rebirth of Russia on the VKontakte group "In Kirov with God" - specifically, without having submitted notification of the group's existence and activities

Appeal: none

31) 13 January 2017

Part 5

Name: Vladimir Sukhanov

Punishment: none - returned to police for technical reasons and not resubmitted

Court: Shakhunya District Court, Nizhny Novgorod Region

Circumstances: Ukrainian citizen - religious affiliation unknown; details unknown

Appeal: none

32) 17 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Konstantin Petrenko

Punishment: 7000 Roubles

Court: Beloretsk Magistrate's Court No. 2, Bashkortostan

Circumstances: Council of Churches Baptist pastor accused of unlawful missionary activity for holding services and displaying literature in church without having submitted notification of his unregistered religious group's existence and activities

Appeal: unsuccessful - Beloretsk Inter-District Court, 6 March 2017

33) 18 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Dmitry Ugai

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 211, St. Petersburg (but heard at Smolny District Court)

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent and yoga teacher gave a lecture on the ethical and spiritual bases of yoga at the Vedalife cultural festival on 22 October - this was interrupted by police who were "inspecting" the festival and Ugai taken to police station, where he was questioned about his beliefs and released after more than two hours; judge accepted case based on report of the offence made several days before the lecture and witness statements from two women who did not attend

Appeal: by prosecution, unsuccessful - 13 March 2017, Smolny District Court

34) 19 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Ilya Matveyev

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Vakhitovsky District Magistrate's Court No. 8, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan

Circumstances: Hare Krishna devotee charged with distributing religious literature outside a café, i.e. "carried out missionary activity in a place not stipulated in the law and without authorisation"; Kazan Centre of the Society for Krishna Consciousness testified that Matveyev was not a member, "Thus [according to the judge], Matveyev, being a citizen of the Russian Federation, was realising his constitutional right to freedom of conscience and religious belief, wherein he acted without the goal of involving citizens in a religious association, and disseminated his own religious convictions"; judge also remarks that handing out non-extremist religious literature in the street is not forbidden by law, "therefore [Matveyev's] actions do not contain signs of missionary activity"

Appeal: by prosecution, unsuccessful - 15 March 2017, Vakhitovsky District Court

35) 19 January 2017

Part 4

Name: R.G. Gasanaliyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Konakovo District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Konakovo, Tver Region

Circumstances: Protestant accused of proselytising among drug addicts and alcoholics in a rehabilitation centre

Appeal: none

36) 30 January 2017

Part 4

Name: Pyotr Yemelevsky

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Petrovpavlovsk-Kamchatsky Magistrate's Court No. 5, Kamchatka

Circumstances: Hare Krishna adherent accused of disseminating Krishnaite beliefs among non-adherents in rented accommodation in a shopping centre; defendant argued it was a regular gathering of about ten people, that group's composition does not change, and that new people are rare; transferred from Magistrate's Court No. 3

Appeal: none

37) 30 January 2017

Part 4

Name: T.I. Sukhanova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chernyshevsk District Magistrate's Court No. 17, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Lipishina (below) - Jehovah's Witness "did not inform the Justice Ministry that she intended to carry out missionary activity"; went to two houses, read the Bible and told the occupants that "there is only one God - the God Jehovah"

Appeal: successful - 23 March 2017, Chernyshevsk District Court, Zabaikalsk Region

38) 1 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Mikhail Ishenin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Krasnokamensk District Magistrate's Court No. 41, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness accused of holding religious service in a rented auditorium - according to the verdict, "from the explanations of members, the purpose of this religious group is to bring other people to the meaning of the Bible, to help them find the meaning of life, and therefore, they, as members of the religious group "Jehovah's Witnesses", which is not registered in accordance with the requirements of the law, disseminate information on its doctrine among non-members of this religious organisation"; entrance unrestricted; religious group had not submitted notification of its existence; reported by telephone to the police

Appeal: successful - Krasnokamensk City Court, 21 March 2017

39) 2 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Vitaly Ryazanov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Kumertau Magistrate's Court No. 4, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: Baptist pastor charged for announcing date of next service at Sunday worship - interpreted as "a sign of missionary activity permitted only to registered religious groups which have submitted notification of the commencement of their activities", according to Council of Churches' persecution department press release; case based on identical testimony of two newcomers to the congregation, who told FSB they had read of the initial service in a newspaper entitled "Do you believe?"

Appeal: successful - 17 March 2017, Kumertau Inter-District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan

40) 2 February 2017

Part 4

Name: T.V. Lipishina

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chernyshevsk District Magistrate's Court No. 17, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Sukhanova (above) - Jehovah's Witness "did not inform the Justice Ministry that she intended to carry out missionary activity"; went to two houses, read the Bible and told the occupants that "there is only one God - the God Jehovah"

Appeal: successful - Chernyshevsk District Court, 23 March 2017

41) 8 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Christian church, represented by Anna Kosharnova

Punishment: 50,000 Roubles

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: organisation also convicted under Part 3 (see above); inspection by Lenin District Prosecutor, Nizhny Tagil; church gave individual written authorisation for missionary activity, but left out document proving organisation's registration - in another individual's authorisation, the church's official stamp was missing; authorisation also did not specify locations - church members distributed literature among clients of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre; church and centre had agreement on use of land and buildings of the latter for missionary activity, dated 1 January 2017, but former had been carrying out missionary activity before that date

Appeal: unsuccessful - Prigorodny District Court, 6 April 2017; supervisory appeal unsuccessful - 7 July 2017, Sverdlovsk Regional Court

42) 9 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Vilyuchinsk Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 100,000 Roubles

Court: Vilyuchinsk District Magistrate's Court No. 26, Kamchatka

Circumstances: despite later acquittal of chair (below), Jehovah's Witness community convicted because its religious gathering was openly accessible, and court witnesses testified that they were non-members who understood that they were being invited to join the religious association

Appeal: unsuccessful - Vilyuchinsk City Court, 21 March 2017

43) 10 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Seleznyov

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Vilyuchinsk District Magistrate's Court No. 26, Kamchatka

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness chair accused of "holding a conversation with a group of people on religious themes" at a Jehovah's Witness gathering; judge concludes there there is insufficient reliable evidence that the defendant spoke at the gathering at all

Appeal: none

44) 10 February 2017

Part 4

Name: unknown

Punishment: none - statute of limitations expired

Court: Lysva District Magistrate's Court No. 70/3, Perm Region

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: none

45) 10 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 100,000 Roubles

Court: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Magistrate's Court No. 14, Kamchatka

Circumstances: for holding a meeting in a private house, community charged with "carrying out missionary activity, aimed at the public dissemination of information about their beliefs among people who were not participants…in the local religious organisation" who had been invited by members; also accused of "activity with extremist goals", because of alleged presence of materials from the Federal List

Appeal: unsuccessful - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky City Court, 22 March 2017

46) 15 February 2017

Part 4

Name: O.M. Rakhimkulov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Nizhnevartovsk Magistrate's Court No. 6, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region,

Circumstances: Baptist charged with carrying out missionary activity on behalf of Nizhnevartovsk Evangelical Christian-Baptist Church (Baptist Union), which had been liquidated in 2014 (therefore, without authorisation from his alleged religious organisation), by inviting another person to a Baptist service; defendant insisted he had been acting on his own behalf

Appeal: none

47) 27 February 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Merkulov

Punishment: none - returned to police for technical reasons

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Tver

Circumstances: pastor of Council of Churches Baptist church - details unknown

Appeal: by police against return of case, unsuccessful - 24 March 2017, Central District Court, Tver

48) 1 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Mikhail Pugachyov

Punishment: none - case dropped because of statute of limitations

Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 11, Ufa, Bashkortostan

Circumstances: pastor of Council of Churches Baptist church accused of unlawful missionary activity after prosecutor's office, police, and Justice Ministry officials inspected (in the absence of the owner) a house where the church holds services (no service was taking place that day), seized religious literature from the shelves, and questioned two teenagers without their parents' permission

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - Soviet District Court, Ufa, 7 April 2017

49) 1 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Suprunenko

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Abinsk District Magistrate's Court No.113, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: director of unregistered Council of Churches Baptist religious group charged for creating an "illustrated newspaper" online about his group "with open access, intended for public view" by people who are not members

Appeal: none

50) 9 March 2017

Part 4

Name: V.I. Sergeyeva

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Muratov, Akhmetyanova, Vakhitova, Mannanova, and Polkovnikova - defendant charged for handing out copies of the Gideons' New Testament, without having the right authorising documents - admitting distributing literature, but argued that the law does not forbid this and it is her constitutional right; denied representing any religious association or involving anyone in a religious association

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sterlitamak City Court, 26 April 2017

51) 10 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksandr Khramugin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Uritsky District Court, Oryol Region

Circumstances: same case as Novikov and Bychkov (below) - Baptist charged for distributing newspaper "Do you believe?" among residents of a village and inviting them to a Baptist service, without authorising documents from a religious group or organisation

Appeal: successful (charges drawn up in defendant's absence) - Oryol Regional Court, 28 April 2017

52) 10 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Andrei Novikov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Uritsky District Court, Oryol Region

Circumstances: same case as Khramugin (above) and Bychkov (below) - Baptist charged for distributing newspaper "Do you believe?" among residents of a village and inviting them to a Baptist service, without authorising documents from a religious group or organisation

Appeal: unsuccessful - Oryol Regional Court, 17 April 2017

53) 10 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksandr Bychkov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Uritsky District Court, Oryol Region

Circumstances: same case as Khramugin and Novikov (above) - Baptist charged for distributing newspaper "Do you believe?" among residents of a village and inviting them to a Baptist service, without authorising documents from a religious group or organisation

Appeal: unsuccessful - Oryol Regional Court, 22 May 2017

54) 13 March 2017

Part 4

Name: V.I. Polkovnikova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Muratov, Sergeyeva, Akhmetyanova, Vakhitova, and Mannanova - defendant charged for handing out copies of the Gideons' New Testament, without having the right authorising documents - denied representing any religious association or involving anyone in a religious association

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sterlitamak City Court, 13 April 2017

55) 13 March 2017

Part 4

Name: V.N. Lukina

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Asino District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Tomsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Nasonova (below) - Jehovah's Witness charged for "disseminating information about her beliefs inside a flat to [unnamed person], who is not a member of the religious association, with the aim of involving her in the religious association, without authorising documents

Appeal: unsuccessful - Asino City Court, 4 May 2017

56) 13 March 2017

Part 4

Name: V.I. Nasonova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Asino District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Tomsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Lukina (above) - Jehovah's Witness charged for "disseminating information about her beliefs inside a flat to [unnamed person], who is not a member of the religious association, with the aim of involving her in the religious association, without authorising documents

Appeal: unsuccessful - Asino City Court, 4 May 2017

57) 14 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Islam Gadzhiyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Pochep District Magistrate's Court No. 48, Bryansk Region

Circumstances: Muslim charged for leading Friday prayers at a sawmill "in the presence of parishioners - that is, conducted missionary activity"; defendant is a qualified imam, but not the representative of a registered religious association and had not notified the authorities of the creation of a religious group - he led namaz "in the presence of citizens who were not members of a religious association"

Appeal: none

58) 14 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Vladimir Klimenko

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Abinsk District Magistrate's Court No. 113, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: leader of religious group Christians of Evangelical Faith accused of "carrying out missionary activity with the help of the internet", i.e. posting information and service times on its website, without having notified the local Justice Ministry of the existence of the group

Appeal: unsuccessful - 18 April 2017, Abinsk District Court

59) 15 March 2017

Part 4

Name: R.R. Mannanova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Muratov, Sergeyeva, Akhmetyanova, Vakhitova, and Polkovnikova - defendant charged for handing out copies of the Gideons' New Testament, without having the right authorising documents - argued that she did have authorisation and had distributed literature "realising her right under the Constitution to disseminate her religious beliefs"

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sterlitamak City Court, 13 April 2017

60) 16 March 2017

Part 4

Name: F.R. Muratov

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Sergeyeva, Akhmetyanova, Vakhitova, Mannanova, and Polkovnikova - member of the Gideons charged for giving a copy of the New Testament to a passers-by from his car, without having the right authorising documents - denied that this was missionary activity, as NT is "sacred for many religion", so cannot be proved that he was intending to involve anyone in the Gideons specifically; Gideons leader testified that Muratov did have authorisation to carry out missionary activity

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sterlitamak City Court, 26 April 2017

61) 16 March 2017

Part 4

Name: R.A. Akhmetyanova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Muratov, Sergeyeva, Vakhitova, Mannanova, and Polkovnikova - defendant charged for handing out copies of the Gideons' New Testament, without having the right authorising documents - admitting distributing literature, but argued that she did not spread information about her religious beliefs and had not tried to involve anyone in a religious association, only gave books as gifts; denied representing any religious association

Appeal: unsuccessful - Sterlitamak City Court, 26 April 2017

62) 16 March 2017

Part 4

Name: A.G. Vakhitova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Sterlitamak Magistrate's Court No. 9, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: same case as Muratov, Sergeyeva, Akhmetyanova, Mannanova, and Polkovnikova - defendant charged for handing out copies of the Gideons' New Testament, without having the right authorising documents - argued that she did have authorisation and had distributed literature "realising her right under the Constitution to disseminate her religious beliefs"

Appeal: unsuccessful, but fine reduced - Sterlitamak City Court, 26 April 2017

63) 20 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Ivan Manakov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Essentuki Magistrate's Court No. 4, Stavropol Region

Circumstances: Baptist shopkeeper charged for distributing religious literature for free from his rented stall in a hypermarket, without authorisation from the Baptist Union church where he obtained it; both defendant and judge state that he did this "on his own initiative"

Appeal: none

64) 21 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Marat Zhambulov

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Soviet District Court Magistrate's Court No. 4, Ulan-Ude, Buryat Republic

Circumstances: appears to be member of the Evangelical Christian Youth Movement of Buryatia - details unknown; case transferred from Soviet District Court on 2 March

Appeal: none

65) 24 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksei Pomazov

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Yekaterinburg

Circumstances: Hare Krishna devotee accused of allowing the distribution of unlabelled religious literature at a New Year procession which he had organised, and of carrying out missionary activity without authorisation from his religious organisation, although he claimed he had all required documents for performing missionary activity; defendant denied knowing who had handed out the literature, saying that all participants in the procession had only been dancing and singing; judge concluded that the distribution of literature had nothing to do with the defendant, and "there is no evidence in the case materials that the singing of a mantra in public places is an activity aimed at disseminating information about one's beliefs"

Appeal: none

66) 27 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Anatoly Mukhin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Tuapse Magistrate's Court No. 112, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: Baptist pastor charged for holding a service and handing out literature in his own home, without having notified the authorities of the existence of his unregistered religious group

Appeal: unsuccessful - 14 June 2017, Tuapse City Court

67) 27 March 2017

Part 4

Name: unknown (man)

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chaunsky District Magistrate's Court, Chukotka Autonomous Region

Circumstances: defendant charged with carrying out missionary activity on behalf of "US-based" Baptist church without authorising documents or documents attesting to registration of his organisation/notification of group's activities - visited settlements, talked to residents about Jesus and the Bible, claimed he was "pointing people towards the right path"

Appeal: none

68) 27 March 2017

Part 4

Name: unknown (man)

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chaunsky District Magistrate's Court, Chukotka Autonomous Region

Circumstances: same case as above - defendant charged with carrying out missionary activity on behalf of US-based Baptist church without authorising documents or documents attesting to registration of his organisation/notification of group's activities - visited settlements, talked to residents about Jesus and the Bible, "pointing people towards the right path"

Appeal: none

69) 27 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksandr Kutyavin

Punishment: unknown

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 114, Omsk

Circumstances: Baptist Union pastor - details unknown

Appeal: verdict upheld - 12 May 2017, Central District Court, Omsk

70) 29 March 2017

Part 4

Name: Anton Ryzhkov ("Svetozar Ryzhkov")

Punishment: 10,000 Roubles

Court: Novorossiysk District Magistrate's Court No.80, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: according to the verdict, defendant is leader of religious group "Pokon Roda", part of a "non-traditional religious movement"; accused of "carrying out "activities aimed at disseminating information about [the group's] beliefs among people who were not participants", by posting "different materials on religious themes" on an open-access VKontakte page, without written confirmation of notification of the existence of the religious group - defendant denied being the leader of a religious group and claimed he was posting about pagan Slavic ancestral beliefs, traditions, and cultures as a private citizen, quoting articles from the Russian Academy of Sciences; Pokon Roda's description on its VKontakte page has now been "edited in accordance with the Yarovaya laws" and reads "A private group on the history, culture, customs, and traditions of the Slavs"

Appeal: none

71) 3 April 2017

Part 4

Name: P.V. Kotlyarenko

Punishment: 8000 Roubles

Court: Novgorod District Magistrate's Court No. 35, Novgorod Region

Circumstances: same case as Mandrichenko (below) - Jehovah's Witness charged with approaching a street trader in Novgorod's Victory Square and talking to her about God

Appeal: unsuccessful - 5 July 2017, Novgorod District Court, Novgorod Region

72) 3 April 2017

Part 4

Name: T.A. Mandrichenko

Punishment: 6,000 Roubles

Court: Novgorod District Magistrate's Court No. 35, Novgorod Region

Circumstances: same case as Kotlyarenko (above) - Jehovah's Witness charged with approaching a street trader in Novgorod's Victory Square and talking to her about God

Appeal: unsuccessful - 5 July 2017, Novgorod District Court, Novgorod Region

73) 3 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Kriulin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Kirovo-Chepetsk District Magistrate's Court No. 18, Kirov Region

Circumstances: Russian Orthodox priest (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which did not rejoin the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007; responsible to Metropolitan Agafangel (Pashkovsky)) performed blessing of the waters on Orthodox Epiphany in his village's house of culture, "in the presence of other citizens"; he had established a religious group in the village (the parish of Archangel Michael) on his arrival in 2016, but only submitted necessary notification to local Justice Ministry on 14 March 2017, nearly two months after the Epiphany rite - therefore charged with carrying out missionary activity without notification of the creation of a religious group; allegedly dispute between Father Sergei and local Moscow Patriarchate Diocese, a priest of which interrupted the 19 January service announcing that the rite was incorrect and saying that Father Sergei was "graceless" [bezblagodatniy] and the group was not an Orthodox church

Appeal: none

74) 3 April 2017

Part 5

Name: A.V. Rudenko

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus deportation

Court: Frunze District Court, Vladivostok

Circumstances: foreign citizen, defendant accused of "positioning himself as the priest of a religious association not registered in the Russian Federation" and "publicly .. disseminating information about his beliefs with the aim of involving new members in the association, including underage children of 10-12 years old"; also did not submit notification of the creation of a religious group; also convicted by same court of violating migration law (overstaying), fined, and ordered to leave - 5.26 conviction resulted in forced deportation; citizenship unknown; religious affiliation unknown

Appeal: none

75) 4 April 2017

Part 5

Name: Consmance Maziku

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles without deportation

Court: Pervomaisk District Court, Kirov

Circumstances: citizen of Democratic Republic of Congo, student, and parishioner of the Evangelical Kirov Bible Church charged for posting video on his VKontakte page inviting fellow Congolese students to Kirov Bible Church events - without any official authorisation from the church itself

Appeal: none

76) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: O.A. Porokhova

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Golovachev, Kalinin, Novoselov, Poluboryatsev, and Kornilov - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

77) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Ye.V. Kalinin

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Golovachev, Porokhova, Novoselov, Poluboryatsev, and Kornilov - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

78) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: V.I. Novoselov

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Golovachev, Porokhova, Kalinin, Poluboryatsev, and Kornilov - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

79) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: V.L. Poluboryatsev

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Golovachev, Porokhova, Kalinin, Novoselov, and Kornilov - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

80) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: P.V. Kornilov

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as as Golovachev, Porokhova, Kalinin, Novoselov, and Poluboryatsev - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

81) 5 April 2017

Part 4

Name: S.I. Golovachev

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Kornilov, Porokhova, Kalinin, Novoselov, and Poluboryatsev - volunteer for Exodus rehabilitation centre accused of carrying out missionary activity among centre's clients without authorising documents; judge found that Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Church had in fact given defendant authorisation and also had agreement on religious activities with the Centre

Appeal: none

82) 6 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Mikhail Bezgans

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chita District Magistrate's Court No. 33, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Volkov (below) and Antioch Baptist Union Church (Part 3, above) - Baptist charged for handing out religious calendars to the inhabitants of a residential home at an event organised by a local garage business, without authorisation from the church; defendant argued that he did this on his own initiative, not as a church representative, and had not talked about religion

Appeal: successful - 4 July 2017, Chita District Court, Zabaikalsk Region

83) 6 April 2017

Part 4

Name: V.V. Volkov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Chita District Magistrate's Court No. 33, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: same case as Bezgans (above) and Antioch Baptist Union Church (Part 3, above) - Baptist charged for handing out New Testaments and Psalters to the inhabitants of a residential home at an event organised by a local garage business, without authorisation from the church; defendant argued that he did this on his own initiative, not in his capacity as church chair, and had not talked about religion

Appeal: unsuccessful - 21 June 2017, Chita District Court, Zabaikalsk Region

84) 11 April 2017

Part 4

Name: L.I. Konovalova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court. Volzhsk District Magistrate's Court No. 17, Mari-El Republic

Circumstances: defendant charged for standing in an apartment block stairwell and talking to residents about her beliefs "without permission for missionary activity" and "in a place not intended for the conduct of this activity"; religious affiliation unknown

Appeal: sent back for re-examination - 28 April 2017; convicted again at re-trial; subsequent appeal unsuccessful - Volzhsk City Court, 10 July 2017

85) 14 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Jesus Christ Evangelical Church, Nizhny Tagil

Punishment: 50,000 Roubles

Court: Prigorodny District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Sverdlovsk Region

Circumstances: church charged with "carrying out missionary activity between October 2015 and 15 February 2017" (despite the fact that the relevant amendment only came into force in July 2016)

Appeal: unsuccessful - 6 July 2017, Prigorodny District Court, Sverdlovsk Region

86) 19 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Svetlana Tarasova

Punishment: 7000 Roubles

Court: Kstovo District Magistrate's Court No.1, Nizhny Novgorod Region

Circumstances: Baptist charged for hosting religious group's worship in her flat; the gathering was interrupted by police who said they need to check there were no "Islamists or terrorists" among them, questioned everybody, and took written statements from Tarasova and two others

Appeal: successful - Kstovo City Court, 8 June 2017

87) 19 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Z.A. Dzhafarov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Muravlenko Magistrate's Court No. 2, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness charged for "conducting missionary activity among the inhabitants of an apartment block with the aim of teaching them about God"; court notes that this is also in violation of the Justice Ministry's suspension of JW activities

Appeal: successful (on basis of lack of evidence) - Muravlenko City Court, 24 May 2017

88) 20 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Olga Supranovich

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Chita, Zabaikalsk Region

Circumstances: Hare Krishna - details unknown

Appeal: none

89) 25 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Kifoyatullo Mirzoyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Pochep District Magistrate's Court No. 48, Bryansk Region

Circumstances: Muslim who was not officially the imam of a mosque led Friday prayers at an immigration detention centre "in the presence of parishioners - that is, conducted missionary activity" without notifying the authorities of the existence of a religious group; detainees testified that he did this regularly and was considered the imam

Appeal: none

90) 26 April 2017

Part 4

Name: Inna Khaziakhmetova

Punishment: none - case returned to police/prosecutors

Court: Novorossiysk Magistrate's Court No. 248, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: Hare Krishna - details unknown

Appeal: none

91) 2 May 2017

Part 4

Name: A.V. Mazepov

Punishment: 6,000 Roubles

Court: Frunze District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Ivanovo

Circumstances: defendant accused of carrying out missionary activity without authorisation from his religious group, and without having notified the authorities of the group's existence, for holding (unspecified Christian) services in rented accommodation and advertising these with flyers; defendant argued that there was no religious group, only services at which the only regular attendees were himself and his wife; religious affiliation unknown

Appeal: unsuccessful - 28 July 2017, Frunze District Court

92) 4 May 2017

Part 4

Name: G.M. Goncharov

Punishment: 25,000 Roubles

Court: Marx District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Saratov Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness elder charged for holding meetings in rented premises after Justice Ministry's suspension of JW activities and inviting non-members to join them

Appeal: unsuccessful - 17 July 2017, Marx City Court, Saratov Region

93) 18 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Ivan Denisov

Punishment: 7,000 Roubles

Court: Lomonosov District Magistrate's Court No.2, Arkhangelsk

Circumstances: Protestant charged for organising a concert in a business centre conference hall

Appeal: none

94) 23 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Aleksandr Kulikov

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Kurchatov District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chelyabinsk

Circumstances: Hare Krishna leader accused of missionary activity among underage children without parental permission for allegedly involving passing nine-year-olds in a religious procession

Appeal: none

95) 24 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Northern Tomsk Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 100,000 Roubles

Court: October District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Tomsk

Circumstances: community charged for carrying out missionary activity while its activities were suspended by order of the Justice Ministry (in relation to the Supreme Court liquidation suit then ongoing against the Administrative Centre) - it had allegedly held a service at which non-members were present; chair and lawyer argued that they had not known about the suspension order, as it had not been properly communicated, and that the community did not keep lists of members

Appeal: unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 19 June 2017, October District Court, Tomsk

96) 24 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Northern Tomsk Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 100,000 Roubles

Court: October District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Tomsk

Circumstances: community charged a second time for carrying out missionary activity while its activities were suspended by order of the Justice Ministry (in relation to the Supreme Court liquidation suit then ongoing against the Administrative Centre) - it had allegedly held a service at which non-members were present; chair and lawyer argued that they had not known about the suspension order, as it had not been properly communicated, and that the community did not keep lists of members

Appeal: unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 19 June 2017, October District Court, Tomsk

97) 24 May 2017

Part 4

Name: R.A. Faradzhov

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 5, Voronezh

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: due to be heard on 10 August 2017, Central District Court, Voronezh

98) 25 May 2017

Part 4

Name: S.P. Barchenkova

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Dyomsky District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: outcome unknown - 31 July 2017, Dyomsky District Court, Ufa

99) 26 May 2017

Part 4

Name: V.M. Lashchuk

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Anapa District Magistrate's Court No. 119, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: outcome unknown - most recent hearing on 5 July 2017, Anapa District Court, Krasnodar Region

100) 26 May 2017

Part 4

Name: D.Kh. Sharafeyev

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Nizhnekamsk District Magistrate's Court No. 8, Republic of Tatarstan

Circumstances: taxi driver charged with giving a passenger a Tatar-language brochure allegedly from New Life Evangelical Church, without authorisation from the church; defendant claimed he had done so on his own behalf, not as a member of the church, and had not preached or invited the passenger to a service, and that the brochure had only "general Christian content"; judge concluded that defendant was acting on his own behalf and there was insufficient evidence that he had intended to involve his passenger in any religious association

Appeal: by police, unsuccessful - 27 July 2017, Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan

101) 29 May 2017

Part 4

Name: L.S. Kharkova

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Kirovo-Chepetsk District Magistrate's Court No. 15, Kirov Region

Circumstances: defendant charged for attempting to talk about "morality and God" with residents of a block of flats - one woman believed she was a Jehovah's Witness and called the police; judge concluded that it was impossible to tell from their reported conversation whether defendant was representing any religious organisation and that her actions did not constitute missionary activity

Appeal: none

102) 30 May 2017

Part 4

Name: L.L. Dallakyan

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Uritsky District Court, Oryol Region

Circumstances: same case as Voyteshina (below) - Jehovah's Witness accused of missionary activity without authorisation from a religious organisation or group; defendant denied speaking to villagers at their homes about Jehovah's Witness beliefs; one resident called the police to report "two suspicious women" in the entrance to her building - police came and seized copies of the scriptures from them; witnesses in court testified that the women had spoken to them about young people's behaviour and relations with the older generation, but had not given them religious literature, invited them to any services, or talked about their religious beliefs; judge concluded that there was no evidence of an offence

Appeal: none

103) 31 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Saniya Voyteshina

Punishment: none - acquitted

Court: Uritsky District Court, Oryol Region

Circumstances: same case as Dallakyan (above) - Jehovah's Witness accused of missionary activity without authorisation from a religious organisation or group; defendant denied speaking to villagers at their homes about Jehovah's Witness beliefs ; one resident called the police to report "two suspicious women" in the entrance to her building - police came and seized copies of the scriptures from them; witnesses in court testified that the women had spoken to them about young people's behaviour and relations with the older generation, but had not given them religious literature, invited them to any services, or talked about their religious beliefs; judge concluded that there was no evidence of an offence

Appeal: none

104) 31 May 2017

Part 4

Name: Valery Vyatkin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Michurinsk Magistrate's Court No. 4, Tambov Region

Circumstances: prosecutor's office "inspection of compliance with the Religion Law" found that a Council of Churches Baptist pastor "disseminated information about the religion of Evangelical Christians-Baptists among people who were not members of this religious association, with the goal of involving them in it" at a gathering at his home for prayer and Bible study - without having notified the authorities of the creation of a religious group; court notes that his house bore a sign marking it as a Baptist place of worship and that entry to such gatherings was free to all

Appeal: unsuccessful - 18 July 2017, Michurinsk City Court, Tambov Region

105) 31 May 2017

Part 4

Name: V.V. Fedorov

Punishment: 25,000 Roubles

Court: Asha and Asha District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chelyabinsk Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness charged for meeting with friends in a private home for prayer and Bible study, without notifying the authorities of the existence of a religious group - prosecution claimed this was "aimed at the dissemination of information about his beliefs…including among non-members, with the goal of involving them in the religious association"

Appeal: unsuccessful (rejected without consideration) - 13 June 2017, Asha City Court, Chelyabinsk Region; submitted again on 6 July 2017 - due to be heard on 23 August 2017

106) ?31 May 2017

Part 4

Name: A.V. Rybakov

Punishment: unknown

Court: Petrozavodsk Magistrate's Court No. 4, Republic of Karelia

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: none

107) ??Early June?? 2017

Part 4

Name: N.S. Ivanova

Punishment: unknown

Court: unknown Magistrate's Court, Korkino District, Chelyabinsk Region

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: decision upheld - 10 July 2017, Korkino District Court, Chelyabinsk Region

108) 1 June 2017

Part 4

Name: O.A. Lenin

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Yegorlykskaya District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Rostov Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness - same case as Ilyumzhinova (below)

Appeal: unsuccessful - Yegorlykskaya District Court, 27 June 2017

109) 2 June 2017

Part 4

Name: G.A. Lenina

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Yegorlykskaya District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Rostov Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness - same case as Ilyumzhinova (below)

Appeal: due to be heard at Yegorlykskaya District Court, 11 August 2017

110) 2 June 2017

Part 4

Name: L.N. Kvasova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Yegorlykskaya District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Rostov Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness - same case as Ilyumzhinova (below)

Appeal: due to be heard at Yegorlykskaya District Court, 10 August 2017

111) 2 June 2017

Part 4

Name: N.E. Ilyumzhinova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Yegorlykskaya District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Rostov Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness accused of "preaching" on "municipal territory, not set aside for religious purposes or near any cult building; defendant argued that she was not representing any religious association, therefore was not engaged in missionary activity - she only wanted to talk about "the gift that God had given people" and about Christ's death and resurrection, and had not given out information about any religious association or had any literature with her; residents called police because of noise from confrontation between defendant and passers-by

Appeal: due to be heard at Yegorlykskaya District Court, 10 August 2017

112) 2 June 2017

Part 5

Name: Issa Salifu

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus deportation

Court: October District Court, Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan

Circumstances: Ghanaian, prosecutor's office carried out inspection of compliance with the Religion Law at Protestant group's conference - found defendant participating, along with members of a religious group of African Protestants he had created, about which he had not notified the authorities; between unspecified dates, this group gathered for "collective worship and dissemination of beliefs" in a hotel conference hall, at a church, and at the premises of another religious group, including with members of other religious groups - "that is, carried out missionary activity"

Appeal: partially successful (deportation rescinded and Salifu ordered immediately released from immigration detention centre, but fine upheld) - Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan, 19 June 2017

113) 9 June 2017

Part 4

Name: Embassy of Christ Association of Evangelical Churches

Punishment: 50,000 Roubles

Court: Moscow District Magistrate's Court No. 6, Nizhny Novgorod

Circumstances: foreign citizen carried out missionary activity on organisation's behalf without authorising documents; law enforcement inspection of unspecified "event" found that members of the Association did have necessary documents, but foreigner was not on list presented to them; Association presented authorising documents for foreign citizen in court, but this was rejected because judge claimed that foreigners could only carry out missionary activity on behalf of a religious group (???)

Appeal: unsuccessful - 11 July 2017, Moscow District Court, Nizhny Novgorod

114) 13 June 2017

Part 4

Name: Naberezhniye Chelny Jehovah's Witness community

Punishment: 100,000 Roubles

Court: Naberezhniye Chelny Magistrate's Court No. 8, Republic of Tatarstan

Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection of compliance with anti-extremism legislation and the Religion Law found that community had allegedly "carried out missionary activity on premises…which do not belong to it, and also via people who did not have the right to perform missionary activity on behalf of the local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses" (exact details not given)

Appeal: none yet known

115) Mid June 2017

Part 4

Name: A.P. Mayevsky

Punishment: unknown

Court: unknown Magistrate's Court, Altai Republic

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: outcome unknown - heard on 20 July 2017, Ust-Kan District Court, Altai Republic

116) 16 June 2017

Part 4

Name: V.V. Pestova

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Yemanzhelinsk Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chelyabinsk Region

Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness pensioner charged with "distributing information about the beliefs of the religious organisation 'Jehovah's Witnesses'" in public places in the town, "among people who were not participants (members, followers) of this religious association" - had a conversation about the cleanliness of the town and purity of the mind with a man who "immediately understood that she was a representative of the Jehovah's Witnesses" and called the police

Appeal: none yet known

117) 19 June 2017

Part 4

Name: P.V. Alekseyev

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 101, Sochi, Krasnodar Region

Circumstances: defendant charged with conducting missionary activity without authorisation from a religious organisation for teaching Jewish Kabbalah courses

Appeal: none yet known

118) 19 June 2017

Part 5

Name: V.Ye. Maslova

Punishment: unknown fine, no deportation

Court: Surazh District Court, Bryansk Region

Circumstances: Ukrainian, Jehovah's Witness, charged for suggesting to another person that he join the Jehovah's Witnesses - he then went to the police; court notes that the JW Administrative Centre has been ordered liquidated and its activities halted - defendant therefore "performed missionary activity" in violation of the Religion Law's stipulation that missionary activity is forbidden on behalf of an organisation which has been liquidated or suspended by court order and whose activities contravene the law (Paragraph 5, Part 24.2)

Appeal: none yet known

119) 20 June 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Belyayev

Punishment: none - transferred (reasons unknown), returned to prosecutors, and not resubmitted

Court: Urupsky District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Karachai-Cherkessiya Republic

Circumstances: Hare Krishna leader accused of holding worship in a private house (which belongs to him but in which nobody lives) "which is evidence of violation of federal law", according to the charges; case lodged at district court on 3 July, still under Part 4 - returned to prosecutors but not resubmitted within required three-day period

Appeal: none yet known

120) 22 June 2017

Part 4

Name: S.G. Bezbatchenko

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Pyt-Yakh Magistrate's Court No.1, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: none yet known

121) 27 June 2017

Part 4

Name: R.S. Vasilyev

Punishment: 5,000 Roubles

Court: Central District Magistrate's Court, Kemerovo

Circumstances: Protestant "read a religious sermon" at a gathering of the religious group Rebirth Spiritual Centre in a conference hall, not having notified the authorities of the group's existence; "Entry to this gathering was open, and among those present were people who were not members of the religious group"; Vasilyev did have written authorisation to carry out missionary activity on behalf of the religious organisation International Christian Interconfessional Movement of the 21st Century

Appeal: none yet known

122) 28 June 2017

Part 5

Name: Clever Ogenerobo Light

Punishment: none - returned to police for technical reasons and not resubmitted

Court: Lenin District Court, Kursk

Circumstances: Nigerian, student at Kursk State Medical University; affiliated with Protestant Dunamis International Gospel Centre - details unknown

Appeal: none yet known

123) 29 June 2017

Part 4

Name: T.P. Vasilyeva

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Essentuki Magistrate's Court No. 3, Stavropol Region

Circumstances: Baptist charged with distributing religious literature and audio discs, including the New Testament, in the city's central park, without written authorisation from the Council of Churches Baptist church from which she had obtained these materials

Appeal: due to be heard on 24 August 2017, Essentuki City Court, Stavropol Region



124) 29 June 2017

Part 4

Name: A.I. Glazkov

Punishment: unknown fine

Court: Naberezhniye Chelny Magistrate's Court No. 21, Republic of Tatarstan

Circumstances: unknown

Appeal: due to be heard on 11 September 2017, Naberezhniye Chelny City Court

125) 1 July 2017

Part 5

Name: Eun Chul Sin

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus deportation

Court: Soviet District Court, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North-Ossetiya-Alaniya

Circumstances: South Korean pastor of Protestant Good News church "carried out missionary activity" on church premises without authorisation from his religious organisation

Appeal: none yet known

126) 1 July 2017

Part 5

Name: Zh.Yu. Ong

Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus deportation

Court: Soviet District Court, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North-Ossetiya-Alaniya

Circumstances: South Korean Protestant pastor - same as Eun Chul Sin (see above)

Appeal: none yet known

127) 3 July 2017

Part 4

Name: D.A. Rublyovsky

Punishment: none - case closed

Court: Labytnangi Magistrate's Court No. 1, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region

Circumstances: unknown - same case as Vezhova (below); previously returned to police for technical reasons on 3 May; religious affiliation unknown

Appeal: none yet known

128) 3 July 2017

Part 4

Name: Iraida Vezhova

Punishment: none - case closed

Court: Labytnangi Magistrate's Court No. 1, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region

Circumstances: unknown - same case as Rublyovsky (above); previously returned to police for technical reasons on 3 May; religious affiliation unknown

Appeal: none yet known

129) 10 July 2017

Part 4

Name: Sergei Stepanov

Punishment: 10,000 Roubles

Court: Tambov District Magistrate's Court No. 1

Circumstances: head of Tree of Eternal Life Baptist Union mission organisation posted an invitation to an Easter service at the Source of Life Baptist Union church on his VKontakte page "with unlimited access"; found by FSB monitoring

Appeal: lodged on 28 July 2017 at Tambov District Court - no hearing date yet set

(END)

For more background see Forum 18's surveys of the general state of freedom of religion and belief in Russia at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2246, and of the dramatic decline in this freedom related to Russia's Extremism Law at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2215.

A personal commentary by Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis http://www.sova-center.ru, about the systemic problems of Russian anti-extremism legislation, is at F18News 19 July 2010 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1468.

A personal commentary by Irina Budkina, Editor of the http://www.samstar.ucoz.ru Old Believer website, about continuing denial of equality to Russia's religious minorities, is at F18News 26 May 2005 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=570.

More reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Russia can be found at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=10.

A compilation of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) freedom of religion or belief commitments can be found at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1351.

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