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'Cry of Despair' letter from Russian JW Wives


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BREAKING NEWS story from jw org, shows that of our 17 brothers are imprisoned for their faith, unlawfully. 

Please read the full letter, it helps us to be specific in our prayers to Jehovah.

I doubt this letter will be published in the Russian press, so we need the truth to be told.


Edited by Chris7
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Honorable Mr. Fedotov! Honorable members of the Human Rights Council!
This open letter to you is a cry of desperation. People who are very dear to us, our 
husbands, those who feed us, the fathers of our children, peaceable, honest people, who are 
always ready to help others, are being thrown behind bars for being suspected of reading 
Bible commandments and praying together with us and our children to the God whose 
name, as recorded in the Bible, is Jehovah.
As of this day in Russia already 17 individuals are being held in pre-trial detention. One of 
our fellow believers has been in custody for over a year. Dozens more believers, in 11 
regions of Russia, are under house arrest or are forbidden to leave their cities of residence. 
With each passing day, their number is increasing. Taking into account that in Russia there 
are 175,000 professing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, we wonder how many more 
dozens, hundreds or thousands of victims of conscience will it take before the unjust 
criminal persecution of people for their faith in God is brought to an end.
Under the guise of fighting extremism, many of us, and even our children, have been 
threatened with weapons by agents of the special forces and ordered to lie face down. Our 
homes have been raided and searched, our telephones and computers have been seized, so 
we can’t work or live a normal life. Our family photographs, our passports and other 
personal documents, and Bibles have been confiscated. They are trying to force us to live in
fear and shake every time there’s a knock at the door or the sound of a siren on the street,
as we await arrest merely for our faith. Some believers have already been dismissed from 
their places of work after many years of faultless work just because the organization of 
Jehovah’s Witnesses is banned in Russia. We cannot find the answers to the questions of 
why we are being subjected to such harassment in our country, and which religion will be 
the next to fall victim after us?
The law-enforcement agencies that are persecuting our husbands for their faith in God 
explain that it is because of the April 20, 2017, decision of the Russian Federation Supreme 
Court to liquidate all legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
However, both the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice, during the hearing at the
Supreme Court, and the Russian Federation Government, after the decision was handed
down, officially stated that the court’s decision would not result in any violations of the 
rights of citizens to freedom of worship.
The aforementioned decision of the Supreme Court did not ban the religion of Jehovah’s
Witnesses in Russia. It only involved legal entities. So why are the law-enforcement agents 
acting in contravention of the will of the government of our country? Who in our country 
benefits from the mass repression of religious believers? Why are our relatives being 
accused of a serious crime with the prospect of imprisonment from 6 to 10 years for 
fictitious extremist activity (Article 282.2 of the RF Criminal Code)? Why are the law-
enforcement agents mistakenly interpreting peaceful expression of faith on God for

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participation in an extremist organization?

Honorable members of the Council, please help us to receive answers to these questions.
In the face of such monstrous circumstances, we are afraid for our children’s future. The 
ground has been laid for children to be torn away from parents, whose faith in God has 
been declared “wrong.” News that information on children whose parents are Jehovah’s 
Witnesses is being gathered in educational and medical facilities is very worrying. It is not 
surprising that virtually every week whole families of our fellow believers are abandoning 
everything and fleeing abroad to seek political asylum for the protection of their children.
In return for freedom and a quiet life, we are being invited to disown our faith. This is not
just a figure of speech—investigators have directly invited us to sign documents in order to 
avoid punishment for “extremism.” If not, in their words, no attorney will be able to save 
us. But we cannot stop believing in God. It is a right that every individual has from birth. 
The Russian Federation is a multi-confessional state, and we, as citizens of Russia, have the 
right to expect that our rights will be respected by the state. We are not asking for any 
special privileges. We are asking for just one thing—please, defend our rights.
Honorable members of the Council! A campaign of terror has been unleashed against an 
entire religion, one of the largest Christian religions in Russia. Fundamental human rights
are being trampled on: the right to freedom of worship and personal inviolability, the right 
to personal dignity, the right to privacy, the right to the inviolability of the home, to 
freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, freedom of worship, the right to private 
property.
If the Russian government does not quickly put an end to this growing campaign of terror, 
the administration will be faced with a nation-wide human rights catastrophe. We are 
certain that you have the power to take action now! We ask that you please pass this 
information on to the President of the Russian Federation, and use all possible legal meansto restore the rights of religious believers.
With respect, the wives of men who are being held in custody:
Alyona Vilitkevich (Republic of Bashkortostan)
Anna Zyablova (Magadan Region)
Yulia Klimova (Tomsk Region)
Galina Kochneva (Orenburg Region)
Irina Christensen (Oryol Region)
Svetlana Markina (Murmansk Region)
Tatyana Petrova (Magadan Region)
Anastasia Puyda (Khabarovsk Territory)
Natalia Suvorova (Orenburg Region)
Trofimova Ulyana (Murmansk Region)

Others to be added

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When I read this letter on JW.ORG, I felt a sense of pride and praise for these wonderful sisters.  You know it took COURAGE on their part to write this.  They are not afraid to expose their names and from what region they signed the petition.    They are risking their lives after what they said in the letter and the harassment they have been receiving day and night since that order was put through the court.    They are not just a "large army of women" but they are mighty women in my sight!  The spirit of our God is with them.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

jw-russia.org: The Human Rights Council has reacted to the appeal of the wives of citizens arrested for the faith

 

Quote

The Council under the President of Russia for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights (HRO) asked the General Prosecutor's Office to verify the legality of the criminal prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses. The reason for this was a letter to the Council of Wives of Arrested Believers, which referred to a massive campaign of persecution throughout the country.

 

Having studied the appeal, human rights activists of the HRO revealed a paradoxical situation. As stated in the statement of the organization published on its website, the decisions of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of April 20 and July 17, 2017 "do not contain conclusions about the prohibition of religion of Jehovah's Witnesses as such," and the Government of the Russian Federation has twice stated that this decision "Does not contain a restriction or prohibition to profess individually the above teachings." However, in practice, the opposite happens, dozens of criminal cases have been brought against the believers.

 

"There is a contradiction between the declared position of the Government of the Russian Federation and law enforcement practice," the statement of the HRO says. –  "This can not but cause concern, as criminal prosecutions and arrests have become systemic in nature."

 

In this regard, the Council asked the Prosecutor General's Office to verify the legality and validity of the criminal prosecution of believers and take measures to protect their constitutional rights.

 

On June 7, the wives of arrested Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia (all accused men) sent an open collective letter to the HRO. It drew attention to a mass campaign of criminal prosecution of citizens only on the basis of their faith, while the highest authorities in Russia continue to claim that this does not happen.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

jw-russia.org: In June, the Pskov FSB conducted mass searches in the homes of the faithful

 

The last paragraph from this article relates to the post above

Quote

The Council under the President of Russia for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights referred to this criminal case in its appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia. "The accusations of citizens that they jointly read the Bible and pray to God are interpreted as" the continuation of the activities of an extremist organization, "the appeal says." The Council believes that such an interpretation does not correspond to the legal position of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. There is a contradiction between the declared position of the Government of the Russian Federation and law enforcement practice. This can not but cause concern, as criminal prosecutions and arrests have become systemic in nature. "

 

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