LGOV DISTRICT COURT DECIDES TO LEAVE DANISH JEHOVAH'S WITNESS BEHIND BARS
It had previously substituted a fine for his remaining sentence
Credo.Press, 26 October 2020
On 26 October, the Lgov district court of Kursk oblast refused to substitute a fine for the unserved portion of his prison term for the Dane Dennis Christensen. The court cited Christensen's unwillingness to work in prison production, although such labor is contraindicated for him because of the condition of his health, a correspondent for the portal Credo.Press reports, referring to a source among Russian Jehovah's Witnesses.
Exactly four months ago, this same court, with a different membership, ordered Christensen's release. That decision was made in response to a petition from the believer, submitted after he had served more than half of the term imposed by a court, and he had received the right of requesting a mitigation of his punishment.
However soon, because of a request from the prosecutor, the Kursk oblast court overturned this decision and returned the case for a new review. As a result, Dennis Christensen not only did not get his legal freedom, but he was faced with additional pressure on the part of the administration of the Lgov penal colony. In September, a prison commission, without reasonable basis, determined that Christensen was a "malicious violator" of the regimen. He was regularly forced to perform kinds of work that are contraindicated for medical reasons, and three times, without basis, he was placed in a punishment cell (SHIZO). This served as a basis for filing negative character references in court and impacted the decision on the question of his release. In all, the believer spent 37 days in the SHIZO.
The citizen of Denmark was placed behind bars in May 2017, because he professed the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, and in April of that same year the Russian Supreme Court had ruled that all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in the R.F. were extremist and it liquidated them. In February 2019, the Zheleznodorozhny district court of Orel sentenced Christensen to six years in a penal colony of general regime. As of the present, Christensen has served about 4.5 years of the prison term imposed by the court.
of conscience from among the Jehovah's Witnesses has received
from observers of the P.A.C.E., the United Nations commissioner
rights, the kingdom of Denmark, the Council on Human Rights under
president, and other well known organizations. "The accusation and
confinement of Christensen merely for professing his faith is an
violation of the right to freedom of religious confession," the
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (P.A.C.E.)
(tr. by PDS, posted 26 October 2020)
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