Court piles up 13 years of punishment for elderly Jehovah's Witness


Sibir.Realii, 16 March 2021


In Primorie territory, a court issued to a 77-year-old adherent of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Vladiir Filippov, a six-year suspended prison sentence, the website of the religious organization reports. He was charged with extremist activity.


The court also gave to Filippov a four-year probation term and restriction on liberty for one year. The believer is denied the right to engage in public activity for three years.


"I never participated in extremist affairs and I have not displayed and do not display hatred toward people of other nationalities and religious confessions. . . . I committed no crime and I have merely exercised my constitutional right to believe in God Jehovah and to live in accordance with my religious convictions," Filippov said in his final word, the website relates.


Earlier, the prosecutor asked for six and a half years in a penal colony of ordinary regime for Filippov, plus two years of deprivation of the right to participate in public organizations.


The criminal case was opened on 1 July 2019 and there were no victims in it. "The criminal case was based on video recordings of worship services from 2017 and an audio recording of conversations about the Bible with a certain B.N. Ulianikin, who had expressed an interest in the Bible," the religious organization's report says.


According to the investigation's account, Filippov engaged in arranging meetings and religious events and he distributed literature of extremist contents. The defendant did not admit guilt.


It was noted that in the summer of 2019, a search was conducted in Filippov's home and one of the agents of law enforcement struck the believer in the face. A year later, during a second search in his home, Filippov suffered a hypertension crisis. (tr. by PDS, posted 17 March 2012)

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