Rostov court treats Jehovah's Witnesses harshly


Kavkazskii Uzel, 29 July 2021


A court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced to real prison terms in a penal colony of general regime the Jehovah's Witnesses Alexander Parkov, and Vilen and Arsen Avanesov, having found them guilty in a case regarding an extremist organization.


As Kavkazskii Uzel reported, Alexander Parkov and Vilen and Arsen Avanesov were arrested on 22 May 2019 in a case concerning arranging the activity of an extremist organization. Since them they have been detained in custody in a holding cell. The believers, including the elderly Vilen Avanesov, asked several times for a more lenient measure of restriction, but they were refused. The state prosecutor asked for seven years for Parkov and Vilen Avanesov and seven and a half years for Arsen Avanesov in a penal colony. The defendants themselves in their final speeches declared that they never were criminals.


Today the Lenin district court of Rostov-on-Don found all three believers guilty of arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). Arsen Avanesov was also charged with financing extremist activity (part 1 of article 282.3), but the court acquitted him on this article.


The elderly Vilen Avanesov was sentenced to six years in a penal colony of general regime and Alexander Parkov and Vilen Avanesov's son Arsen Avanesov received 6.5 years in a colony each, a Kavkazskii Uzel correspondent who attended the trial reported. (tr. by PDS, posted 29 July 2021)

Background articles:
Jehovah's Witnesses family harassed by authorities
March 23, 2021
At long last, trials of four Jehovah's Witnesses begin in Russian south
November 19, 2020
Fifth Jehovah’s Witness convicted in Rostov-on-Don
July 13, 2021

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