OREANDA-NEWS. The United States is concerned about the verdict of the Abakan City Court in Khakassia, which sentenced Valentina Baranovskaya and her son Roman Baranovsky, who are followers of the religious organization «Jehovah's Witnesses», to two and six years in prison, respectively. This is stated in a statement by the head of the press service of the US State Department, Ned Price, released on Thursday, February 25.

The US Foreign Ministry draws attention to the fact, that 69-year-old Baranovskaya suffered a stroke. According to the representative of the State Department, this is another example of «the ongoing persecution of representatives of religious minorities in Russia».

Ned Price recalled, that since the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in 2017 recognized the «Jehovah's Witnesses» as an extremist organization, 52 of it's followers have been imprisoned for practicing these religious beliefs.

«We call on Russia to lift the ban on the activities of «Jehovah's Witnesses» and to respect the right of everyone to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief», the statement said.