Convicted Jehovah's Witnesses win appeal of penalty


TASS, 25 March 2020


On Wednesday, the oblast court of Penza overturned the decision of the court of the first instance, which sentenced to six years in a penal colony the leader of the local cell of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses (which is forbidden in Russia), Vladimir Alushkin, as well as five subjects of the case, who were given suspended prison terms. The case was sent for another review in the Lenin district court of Penza, TASS was told in the press service of the oblast court.


On 13 December 2019, the Lenin district court of Penza sentenced Alushkin to six years in a penal colony of general regime. Another five subjects of the case were sentenced to two years suspended terms for participation in the activity of the extremist organization.


"The sentence of the Lenin district court was overturned because of violations of laws of criminal procedural. The case was remanded for a new consideration in the Lenin district court of Penza with a different judge," the news agency's source reported, adding that Alushkin has been released from custody.


Alushkin and the other subjects of the case were arrested in Penza in August 2018. The court of the first instance determined that Alushkin revived the activity of the local "Arbekovo Penza" local religious organization and he assigned roles to the group's members, engaged in preaching ideas of the organization, distributed literature, and collected donations. The subjects in the case did not admit their guilt and filed appeals. (tr. by PDS, posted 25 March 2020)

Background articles:
Six Jehovah's Witnesses criminally indicted in Penza,
July 1, 2019
Multiple Jehovah's Witnesses convicted in Penza,
January 13, 2020

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