U.S. expresses religious freedom concerns in Russia

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U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price on Thursday said in a statement: “We are disturbed by reports that a Russian court sentenced Valentina Baranovskaya and her son, Roman Baranovsky, to terms of two and six years in a Russian penal colony, respectively, simply for being practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

He noted: “The sentencing of Valentina, a 69-year-old stroke victim, is particularly cruel.  It also marks the first time a Russian court has sentenced a female Jehovah’s Witness.”