US calls on Russia to release 'unjustly' jailed political and religious prisoners

The US State Department has called on Russia to release all of its political and religious prisoners, urging the government of President Vladimir Putin to cease using its legal system to "suppress dissent and peaceful religious practices".
All together, the total number of prisoners the US said are “unjustly imprisoned” exceeds 150. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the administration was “deeply concerned” by the Kremlin’s increasing detainment of human rights activists and others identifying with minority religious groups across the country. 
“We call on Russia to release all those identified as political or religious prisoners immediately and cease its use of the legal system to suppress dissent and peaceful religious practice,” a statement read. ”The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve equal treatment under the law and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.”
Among those identified by human rights organisations as political and religious prisoners are more than a dozen Muslim followers of Turkish theologian Said Nursi, several Jehovah’s Witnesses,  five leaders from the Church of Scientology and a human rights activist whose been detained in Chechnya, according to the state department’s statement. 
“We are especially concerned about the welfare of four Ukrainians unjustly imprisoned who are currently on hunger strike—Oleg Sentsov, Stanislav Klykh, Oleksandr Shumkov, and Volodymyr Balukh,” the statement said. ”We are likewise troubled by the case of Oyub Titiyev, a human rights activist prosecuted on trumped-up drug charges in Chechnya, whose pre-trial detention was recently extended,“ it added.
Oleg Sentsov is one case the US has raised with Russia as 'unjust' ( AP )
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/us-calls-on-russia-to-release-unjustly-jailed-political-and-religious-prisoners-a8405461.html

Comments