•   
  •   
  •   

World Russia Accused of 'New Low' In Jehovah's Witnesses Crackdown After Woman, 69, Jailed

15:48  25 february  2021
15:48  25 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Russia Fast Facts

  Russia Fast Facts See CNN's Russia Fast Facts for a glimpse at the Russian Federation, which is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-ninth of the earth's land area.Here's some background information about Russia. The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-ninth of the earth's land area.

A U.S. federal commission has accused Russia of conducting a "brutal campaign" against religious freedom after two Jehovah's Witnesses from the same family were given prison sentences.

a couple of people posing for the camera: Jehovah's Witnesses Roman Baranovsky, 46, and his mother, Valentina Baranovskaya, 69, were given prison sentences. Russian authorities have cracked down on the faith. (Supplied) © Courtesy: Jehovah’s Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses Roman Baranovsky, 46, and his mother, Valentina Baranovskaya, 69, were given prison sentences. Russian authorities have cracked down on the faith. (Supplied)

On Wednesday, a court in Abakan, in the Siberian region of Khakassia, sentenced Roman Baranovsky, 46, and his mother, Valentina Baranovskaya, to six years and two years respectively for taking part in the activities of a banned organisation, Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia said.

Aung San Suu Kyi hit with another charge as defiant protesters return to Myanmar streets following deadly crackdown

  Aung San Suu Kyi hit with another charge as defiant protesters return to Myanmar streets following deadly crackdown Myanmar's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with another charge Monday, as protesters returned to the streets in a show of defiance following the deadliest day since the military seized power in a coup in early February. © Lynn Bo Bo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Protesters flee from anti-riot police officers during an anti-coup protest following the military crackdown in Yangon, on March 1. Suu Kyi appeared in a court hearing via video conference where she was charged under Myanmar's colonial-era penal code prohibiting publishing information that may "cause fear or alarm," her lawyer said according to Reuters.

Baranovskaya, 69, who last year suffered a stroke, is the first female and oldest follower of the faith to be given a prison term.

In April 2017, Russia's Supreme Court ruled the religion as an extremist organization. The group has said that since then, more than 1,000 properties of its followers have been raided, hundreds of followers have been arrested and dozens of sentences have been handed out.

Baranovskaya told the court that authorities in Russia were instigating "shameful persecutions against the most peaceful, kind and law-abiding citizens of its country." They will appeal their sentences.

Following Wednesday's verdict, the the bipartisan United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) tweeted: "Today Valentina Baranovskaya, an elderly woman in poor health, became the first female #JehovahsWitness sentenced to prison in #Russia. This marks a new low in Russia's brutal campaign against religious freedom."

How to rethink Russia sanctions

  How to rethink Russia sanctions The U.S. sanctions on Russia could benefit from some streamlining, but by and large its principles are clear and sound. The three main U.S. concerns should be to revive coordination with the EU, to greatly improve enforcement and to force Russia out of eastern Ukraine by threatening more sanctions. Right now, the United States should impose personal sanctions in defense of Navalny.Anders Aslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. His latest book is "Russia's Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy.

Long viewed with suspicion in Russia, authorities consider the religious group to be at odds with the dominant Russian Orthodox Church.

A USCIRF report last year said that the campaign against Jehovah's Witnesses had been headed by the Russian activist Alexander Dvorkin, who has fought against movements he considered to be "cults." He has previously said that the religion "maintains strict control over every aspect of its members' lives," which the religion rejects.

Dvorkin also denied that they are Christians because he says they don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Followers, who reject military service, national holidays and are known for their door-to-door preaching, do not believe in the Christian tenet of the Trinity. However, they say they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and consider him the leader of their church.

Opinions | Lack of witnesses at Trump’s trial is not the problem. Witness intimidation is.

  Opinions | Lack of witnesses at Trump’s trial is not the problem. Witness intimidation is. The former president has a record of threatening rhetoric toward anyone who crosses him. Now there’s a record of supporters willing to back him with violence. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) provided information about a heated phone conversation that Trump had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the middle of the riot, which shed light on whether Trump had been aware of the immediate danger to then-Vice President Mike Pence during the mob attack on the Capitol.

Earlier this month, The U.S. State Department condemned Russia's crackdown on Jehovah's Witnesses after the Abinsk District Court in the Krasnodar region sentenced Alexander Ivshin, 63, to seven years and six months in a prison colony.

Jehovah's Witnesses spokesman, Jarrod Lopes, said that the religious group had made several applications with the European Court of Human Rights over the latest cases.

"The length of the sentences and now sentencing an elderly woman are indicators that Russia is intensifying its efforts to persecute Jehovah's Witnesses," he told Newsweek on Thursday.

Related Articles

  • It's Time to Get Concerned About Russia | Opinion
  • Jehovah's Witness in Russia Convicted of Extremism, Concern Over Crackdown
  • Russia Intensifies Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses with 110 Armed Raids

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

U.S. Matches EU, U.K. Sanctions on Russia for Navalny Attack .
The Biden administration announced its first sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, punishing the Kremlin for the poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny in a sign of deepening tensions between the nuclear powers. © Photographer: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands inside a glass cell during a court hearing at the Babushkinsky district court in Moscow on February 20, 2021. The penalties -- like those adopted by the European Union -- target senior Russian law enforcement officials, as well as matching sanctions the EU and the U.K.

usr: 0
This is interesting!