ULYANOVSK OBLAST COURT STIFFENS SENTENCE OF LOCAL JEHOVAH'S WITNESS
Memorial Human Rights Center, 1 February 2021
On 29 January the Ulyanovsk oblast court reviewed the appeal against the verdict in the case of six Jehovah's Witnesses—Sergei Mysin, Natalia Mysina, Mikhail Zelensky, Andrei Tabakov, Alexander Ganin, and Khoren Khachikian. The court made the sentence for Mysin more harsh, but for the other believer it left it without change. This was reported by Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.
For Sergei Mysin, the charge was recategorized from part 2 (participation in the activity of an extremist organization) to part one (arranging the activity of an extremist organization) of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the R.F., and the penalty was stiffened, increasing the suspended sentence by six months from four to four and a half years of prison.
We recall that on 8 October 2020, the Zasviyazh district court of Ulianovsk found Sergei Mysin, Natalia Mysina, Mikhail Zelensky, Andrei Tabakov, Alexander Ganin, and Khoren Khachikian guilty of participating in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 of the C.C. of R.F.).
Sergei Mysin was sentenced to 4 years incarceration, suspended, with restriction on liberty of 10 months. Natalia Mysina was sentenced to a suspended prison term of 2 years and 6 months, with restriction on liberty for 7 months; Mikhail Zelensky, Andrei Tabakov, and Alexander Ganin were given three-year suspended sentences with 8 months restricted liberty; and Khoren Khachikian was given a 2.5 years suspended sentence with 7 months restricted liberty.
The criminal case against the believers was opened on 24 February 2019. Originally Sergei Mysin was charged with arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 CC RF) and the other believers were charged with participation in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2).
On 27 February 2019, searches were conducted in the homes of believers. From 28 February to 21 April 2019, Sergei Mysin was in a SIZO, when he was transferred to house arrest. On 16 August 2019 the court changed the measure of restriction to a ban on certain activities.
In April 2017, The Russian Supreme Court ruled that the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is an extremist organization and it liquidated it. In August of the same year all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were entered into the list of forbidden extremist organizations.
The Memorial Human Rights Center considers detained Jehovah's Witnesses to be political prisoners and demands the cessation of persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses because of their religious affiliation. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 February 2021)
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