CRIMINAL TRIAL ON "EXTREMISM" ARTICLE AGAINST JEHOVAH'S WITNESS BEGINS IN KABARDINO-BALKARIA
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 18 May 2017
On 16 May 2017, the city court of Prokhladnoe in Kabardino-Balkaria began consideration of the case of Arkady Akopian on a charge of committing the crime specified in part 1 of article 282 of the Criminal Code of the RF. Preliminary hearings on the case were held in a closed session. The state prosecutor asked to be given time for preparing his position in the case. On the basis of his petition, the hearings on the case were postponed to 31 May 2017 at 10:00.
According to the indictment, the believer delivered a speech in which he allegedly demeaned the dignity of persons of other religions. He also is charged with distributing religious literature among fellow believers. Arkady Akopian had previously appealed to the Investigative Committee of Russia asking that persons who gave knowingly false testimony that lies at the basis of the indictment be held accountable. However an appropriate verification of his declaration of a crime has still not been conducted.
Meanwhile, a similar case is being considered in Sergiev Posad city court directly against two Christian elders of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The next hearing is scheduled for 2 June 2017. (tr. by PDS, posted 18 May 2017)
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