Report by Is the government persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses?

posted 7 Dec 2011, 10:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Dec 2011, 10:52 ]
Vera Vasilyeva, 07/11/11 


· Freedom of Conscience  · Ombudsmen  · Moscow City & Moscow Region 

On 3 October 2011, Aleksander Kalistratov, head of the Altaisk branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was convicted under Article 282 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation (“incitement of hatred or enmity”) by the Gorno-Altaisk city court. He was sentenced to 100 hours of compulsory community service. A press-conference dedicated to this event was held at the Independent Press-Centre in Moscow. 

The charges on which Aleksandr Kalistratov was brought to trial are related to articles in religious magazines distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses considered by the judicial investigation to incite religious hatred and humiliate the faith and dignity of people of different religious beliefs. 

The press-conference was led by Aleksander Kalistratov’s lawyer Viktor Zhenkov, Mikhail Odintsov, a staff member of the Ombudsman’s Office of the Russian Federation, and Aleksei Nagovitsyn, a psychologist.  [Read more]