Crimea: One year of Russian “anti-missionary” punishments

By Felix Corley | Forum 18

One year on from the introduction of penalties in Russia for ill-defined “missionary activity” – which the Russian authorities also impose in Crimea, which they occupied in March 2014 – Forum 18 found 13 such administrative cases brought in Crimea against individuals (Article 5.26, Part 4). Eight of these – including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Protestants and a Muslim – are known to have been fined about ten days’ average local wages each. Some were punished for participating in religious meetings of a community they belonged to.

Forum 18 found a further 14 Administrative cases brought in Crimea against 7 religious communities and 7 individuals to punish them for failing to use the full legal name of a registered religious community (Article 5.26, Part 3). Eight of the cases have ended with fines of 30,000 to 50,000 Russian Roubles. The communities known to have faced administrative cases are: 2 Jehovah’s Witness, 1 Pentecostal, 1 Hare Krishna, 1 Catholic and 1 Lutheran.

A full listing of known cases – based on court decisions and court records seen by Forum 18 – is at the foot of this article.