Jehovah's Witness fined instead of imprisoned


Prosecutor had asked for 7 years incarceration as punishment; defense insisted on acquittal

Ivanovo News, 28 July 2020


In the city of Furmanov of Ivanovo oblast, a sentence was pronounced on an adherent of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is considered in Russia to be extremist. The believer was accused of organizing a forbidden religious association.


Evgeny Spirin was arrested in January 2019. The adherent of the Jehovah's Witnesses was accused of organizing a forbidden religious association and sent to a SIZO [pretrial investigation cell]. After five months, the measure of restraint was changed to house arrest, from which he was released after another half a year.


We recall, the Supreme Court found the religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" to be extremist, as were also all of its affiliates in the regions. The investigation, and subsequently also the prosecutor's office, claimed that the Furmanov Jehovist continued even after the ban to conduct meetings with fellow believers and to organize them. Spirin himself and his defense attorney do not talk about meetings but about gatherings of like-minded people. They claim that after the ban, all ties with the Administrative Center were broken.


The prosecution requested sending the defendant to a prison colony of general regime for seven years; the defense insisted on acquittal.


Today, 28 July, the Furmanov district court sentenced Evgeny Spirin to pay a fine of 700 thousand rubles. However the punishment was immediately mitigated by lowering the fine to a half million, taking into account the time spent by Spirin in the SIZO and under house arrest. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 July 2020)

Background article:

Prosecutor asks for longest term yet for Jehovah's Witness
July 9, 2020

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