Harsh measure against Jehovah's Witness unjustified


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 31 May 2017


On 29 May 2017, an appeal was filed in the legal college for criminal affairs of the Orel provincial court against the court's pretrial restraining order in the form of confinement under guard with respect to local resident and foreign citizen Dennis Christensen.


The believer's lawyer thinks the order to be illegal and asks for it to be rescinded. The court had been asked to show why it was impossible to select a milder measure, although this was not done. The court indicated that the only basis for choosing the severest measure of restraint was the circumstance that Christensen is a subject of Denmark (in the court's opinion, that may be concealed from investigative agencies). Other unfounded arguments of the investigator about the necessity of imprisonment of the accused were rejected by the court.


In addition, the court made such a harsh decision only on the basis of his religious faith, despite that he has not been convicted previously and has a permanent place of residence and employment, where he is evaluated positively, and also despite that his conduct is fundamentally different from the conduct of those persons who attempt to incite hostility, hatred, and demeaning of human dignity. This means that the court displayed discrimination on the basis of nationality and relation to religion.


Extremism, or incitement of hostility, is alien to Jehovah's Witnesses, inasmuch as they follow the humanitarian commandments of Jesus Christ. They deny all accusations of extremism as extremely mistaken. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 May 2017)

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