Court of the city of eagle, the recognized leader of the local community, “Jehovah’s Witnesses” Dane Dennis Christensen guilty of extremism and sentenced him to six years imprisonment. About it reports Russian service Bi-bi-si on Wednesday, February 6. According to the judge, Christensen “had been the work of the organization [Jehovah’s witnesses “eagle”], knowing about its prohibition”.
Earlier, the prosecution demanded to sentence Dennis Christensen to six and a half years of imprisonment for organization of activity of extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of the criminal code). According to investigators, the Dane illegally disposed of the property of the organization collected funds for its activities and spread religious literature. Christensen pleaded not guilty.
Protection Christensen plans to appeal the verdict. “We are saddened by this decision, but he was not surprised, — said in comments to RFI, the official representative of the European Association of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” Ivan Belenko. On the scale of religious persecution that have unfolded in recent times, there is nothing surprising. This is obviously just the beginning. The activities of the organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Russia is not conducted since the official ban, but the country is still home to at least 150 thousand people who profess this religion. And these people believed and will believe.”
In the case of Christensen no victims, no one said that he had suffered from his activities. The case was proved – and, maybe, not proven fact, he just opened the gate when people came to pray together, read the Bible, cleared the track of snow.
According to the representative of the Association of Yaroslav sivulskogo, Dennis Christensen is hoping for an appeal. “Dennis Christensen affects all of us — he’s happy, he thanked those who came to the hall, because they support him, they are next — all very confidently and bravely, in the face constantly beaming smile. Thinks there’s still a chance in the appellate court, the case will be reviewed and, possibly, the court decides that you need another punishment — he’s not a criminal.”
The President of the Council on human rights Mikhail Fedotov in comments to the Russian service RFI noted that the HRC was “concerned” by the decision. “Under our Constitution, anyone can profess religious rites, both independently and jointly with other persons. No judicial decision cannot change it”, — he said.
Recall that in 2017 the Supreme court has recognized organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” extremist and confiscated her property. After that Russia made more than 80 criminal cases against its followers. Dennis Christensen became the first member of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, who was sentenced to real term of imprisonment.