RUSSIA: 2016 JW "Extremist" literature prosecutions

by OrphanCrow 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • OrphanCrow

    Forum 18 has reported on the number of prosecutions in 2016 in Russia concerning extremist literature.

    All of the prosecutions involved either Islamic or JW texts and/or online postings.

    From the article:

    Jehovah's Witness prosecutions overtake those for Islamic literature for first time
    For the first time since Forum 18's records began, the number of prosecutions for possession or sharing of Jehovah's Witness materials is higher than that for Islamic books or videos – at 63 versus 60 prosecutions. In 2015, the breakdown by religious affiliation stood at 32 Jehovah's Witness/55 Islamic (plus 2 Falun Gong), while in 2014, it was 10 Jehovah's Witness/55 Islamic.
    As these figures indicate, the proportion of Article 20.29 cases involving Muslim literature has remained fairly static, while the proportion involving Jehovah's Witness literature has increased hugely. This is in line with the intensification of law enforcement attention towards Jehovah's Witnesses over the last two to three years, culminating in the Supreme Court's decision to dissolve their national-level Administrative Centre and outlaw their activities as "extremist".

    As the Supreme Court ruling was in April of 2017, all of the cases that Forum 18 discusses occurred prior to the ruling that closed the Admin Center of the JWs.

    Forum 18 lists all the cases and the details of the charges, etc. Because it is a lengthy list, for the sake of simplicity and to get a better grasp of what has happened during 2016 concerning charges of JW extremist literature, I made a spread sheet of all the JW cases and came up with some simple figures. Rather than list all the cases, this a a snapshot of the total literature cases and fines accumulated over 2016:

    number of congregations prosecuted - 18

    number of congregations fined - 12

    *3 cases dropped because of running out of time, 1 acquittal and 2 successful appeals

    total congregation fines - 1,600,000 rubles ($26,706 US)

    number of individuals prosecuted - 43 (17 for online content relating to jworg)

    number of individuals fined: 34

    *1 case dropped because of running out of time, 6 acquittals, 1 withdrawn and 1 successful appeal

    total individual fines: 142,500 rubles ($2,364 US)

    Most of the congregation fines were for 100,000 rubles with one congregation receiving a 500,000 ruble fine.

    The most common fine for an individual was 1000 rubles with one noteworthy individual fine of 100,000 rubles.

    Converting the Russian ruble to American dollars, it appears like the fines are not that high. However, in spite of these figures seeming to be relatively low, it is important to take the Russian average wage into account. Once a person does that, it is apparent that some of these fines will be placing considerable hardship on the JWs in Russia who may not have a large income to begin with.

    The average wage in Russia is not stable and, outside of Moscow, is very low. The average wage of a Russian worker is about $500 US per month. (and I think this is a high estimate). Pensioners and those on disability receive a significantly lower amount - about 2,963 rubles or $50 US per month. A fine of 1000, 2000 or 3000 rubles would impact a Russian pensioner or someone on social assistance in a major way.

    The congregation fines ranged from one at a low of 50,000 rubles to a high of 500,000 rubles. Most were 100,000 rubles. A fine of this size for a JW community in Russia could be hard to come up with. Which may account for why the org has become so pedantic on making sure that the Russian elders report their donations weekly now instead of monthly.

    In a corporate structure, when the top tightens up the financial procedure at the bottom, it usually indicates that the top fears that the bottom is getting light fingered. It seems as though the org is worried that their "worldwide work" fund might be getting skimmed to pay off congregation fines.

  • OrphanCrow

    In the Chelyabinsk region was fined pensioner, to preach the doctrine of "Jehovah's Witnesses"

    (google translate)

    In Yemanzhelinsk 5 thousand. Rubles was fined 76-year-old pensioner, which extends to the street about the religious organization "Jehovah's Witnesses". As According to the press service of the Prosecutor of the Chelyabinsk region, in relation to women was instituted administrative proceedings under Part 4 of Article 5.26 of the Administrative Code ( "Implementation of the missionary activity in violation of the law on freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and religious associations").
    "The prosecutor's office Emanzhelinsk in a joint inspection with the staff of the territorial police department found that 76-year-old local resident, in April 2017, while in the public places of the city, publicly carrying out missionary activities, disseminating information about the doctrine of the religious organization" Jehovah's Witnesses "among non non-participants (members, followers) of the religious organization. "
    Meanwhile, on April 20, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation acknowledged extremist activity "Jehovah's Witnesses" religious organization and banned its activities in Russia.

    5000 ruble fine

  • Vidiot

    Higher than Islamic-related prosecutions?

    Can't believe I'm saying this, but WTF?

    JWs don't make bombs or chop people's heads off...

  • OrphanCrow
    JWs don't make bombs or chop people's heads off...

    No. They just distribute literature that depicts "Jehovah" doing/allowing things like that. Or Satan. Or whoever...violent images and anti-government messages

    Literature that has been declared illegal in that country.

    Note that 17 of the prosecutions were for posting links to jworg. Mind you, several of the prosecutions against Islamic extremist literature distribution were for posting illegal online content.

  • Vidiot

    Fair enough, then.

  • TheWonderofYou

    Already seen? against homosexuality and destruction of christian values

  • Vidiot
    Putin - "Without the moral value that are rooted in Christianity and other world religions, without rules and moral values which have formed and been developed over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity..."

    Well...'d know, Vlad.

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