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News Link • Religion: Believers

Criminal prosecution for faith – a new reality in Russia

YOSHKAR-OLA, Russia—“My wife and I were shocked to learn that hidden video surveillance has been set up in our apartment, telephones have been tapped, and we are being followed,” says Maksim Kalinin, who was named as a suspect in a criminal case initiated against Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area. He was being investigated under Article 282 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, for “inciting hatred or enmity.” Seven homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched in the republic of Mari El on August 10, 2010. Some of the searches lasted until 4:00 a.m. The home of Mr. Kalinin was among those searched. The FSB and the Department for Fighting Extremism obtained warrants in early 2010 authorizing them to break into Mr. Kalinin’s apartment and install secret surveillance equipment for 180 days, to monitor his postal and electronic mail, and to tap his telephone. The telephones of eight other Witness ministers were also tapped during this period. The alleged evidence obtained by these means

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