More Jehovah's Witnesses Sentenced In Russia On Extremism Charges.

OMSK, Russia -- Several Jehovah's Witnesses have been sentenced in Russia for being members of the religious group that Moscow has labeled as extremist and banned in the country.

A court in the Siberian city of Omsk, on November 30, sentenced 48-year-old Sergei Polyakov to three years in prison after finding him guilty of "organizing the activities of an extremist group."

Polyakov's wife, Anastasia Polyakova and two other Jehovah's Witnesses, Dinara Dyusekeyeva and Gaukhar Bektemirova, were convicted of "taking part in the activities of an extremist group" and handed suspended two-year prison terms each.

Their lawyer, Dmitry Kolobov, told RFE/RL after the sentences were pronounced that all of the convicted will appeal the court's rulings.

The four went on trial more than a year ago amid Russian authorities' crackdown on the religious group that was officially labelled as extremist and banned in the country in 2017.

Last week, Russia's Investigative Committee said it had arrested several Jehovah's Witnesses and carried out raids of their homes across the country.

For decades the Jehovah's Witnesses have been viewed with suspicion in Russia, where the dominant Orthodox Church is championed by President Vladimir Putin.

The Christian group is known for door-to-door preaching, close Bible study, rejection of military service, and not celebrating national and religious holidays or birthdays.

Since the faith was outlawed in Russia, several Jehovah's Witnesses have been imprisoned in Russia and the Russia-annexed Ukrainian Black Sea Crimea peninsula.

In September 2019, Washington banned two high-ranking regional officers from Russia's Investigative Committee from entering the United States over the alleged torture of seven detainees who are Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses who've been charged with or convicted of extremism as political prisoners.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Former Bosnian Army Commander Sentenced For War Crimes.

Former Bosnian Army Commander Sentenced For War Crimes.

A former Bosnian Army commander has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 22 for failing to stop killings and torture carried out by Islamist volunteer fighters who joined his troops during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

Radio Free Europe

Live: Biden administration holds first White House press briefing.

Live: Biden administration holds first White House press briefing.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a White House press briefing. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as ...

Sen. Mitch McConnell Calls Biden, Harris A ’Son And Daughter Of The Senate’ - NBC News

Sen. Mitch McConnell Calls Biden, Harris A ’Son And Daughter Of The Senate’ - NBC News

During the rotunda gift giving ceremony at the Capitol, Sen. Mitch McConnell called President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris a, “son and daughter of the Senate,” and playfully said they both skipped the House altogether. » Subscribe to...

BREAKING: Biden and Harris visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

BREAKING: Biden and Harris visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They were joined by former US presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton in a display o...

President Donald Trump's most iconic moments

President Donald Trump's most iconic moments

As Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States, we take a look back on Donald Trump's most iconic moments in his Presidential journey. Read more: Inauguration Day 2021: Trump says ‘we’ll be back’ in goodbye speech as US looks ahead t...

Senate historian emeritus Don Ritchie on President Biden's inauguration.

Senate historian emeritus Don Ritchie on President Biden's inauguration.

President Joe Biden takes office with a trifecta for his party, with Democrats earning a majority in both the Senate and the House. He comes to the role after 36 years in the Senate and eight years as vice president. Don Ritchie, the historian eme...

Sen. Bernie Sanders on the inauguration

Sen. Bernie Sanders on the inauguration

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders shares his thoughts on the presidential inauguration.