SEVASTOPOL CITY COURT UPHOLDS VERDICT ON JEHOVAH'S WITNESS SENTENCED TO 6.5 YEARS IN PENAL COLONY
11 August 2021
city court declined on 10 August to grant an appeal from the
Viktor Stashevsky against the verdict in his case. The panel
of judges agreed that
his religious activity is criminal; the believer will have
to serve 6.5 years
in a penal colony of medium security, a correspondent for
portal reports, citing sources among Russian adherents of
Judge Pavel Kryllo of the Gagarin district court of the city
(within the jurisdiction of the R.F.) found Stashevsky
guilty of arranging the
activity of an extremist community (part 1, article 282.2 CC
2019, searches were conducted in Viktor's home as well as in
those of eight
believers, during which they were threatened with planting
were blackmailed, and personal property was damaged. For
around two years the
believer was free under a pledge not to leave his place of
residence. After the
guilty verdict was announced he was taken to a SIZO.
55-year-old Viktor Stashevsky is the father of two girls and
the son of an
elderly mother, who needs constant care after a stroke.
After spending ten
years in the navy, Viktor was converted to the faith of the
Witnesses. When he delivered his final word in the court of
the first instance,
Stashevsky noted: "Because of the baseless and false
charges, I and my
family have already spent two years under constant stress:
the pledge not to
leave, interrogations, and court sessions. I have been
reminded regularly that
I was being tried for extremism and I myself have not been
able to forget this
for a moment. And what have I to do with that? Nothing.
There are no victims in
my criminal case and there is not even a statement from
anybody against me.
There's nothing! But a charge has been brought forward, a
serious charge. It is
baseless!" Addressing the court, Viktor Stashevsky
is not the first century of our era, nor the time of the
nor 1937, when the state dictated conditions for
people—which God they could
believe in and which they cannot."
In Crimea, 12 Jehovah's Witnesses have already been subjected to criminal prosecution and two of them—Sergei Filatov and Artem Gerasimov—are serving prison terms. Experts of a Crimean rights advocacy group have previously declared that imprisonment of Jehovah's Witnesses in Crimea is a part of a complex of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and, consequently, it falls under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.
As is well known, in April 2017 the Russian Supreme Court ruled that all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia were extremist and it liquidated them. However, in Ukrainian territory the religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses function without any restrictions. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 August 2021)
SENTENCE OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESS VIKTOR STASHEVSKY LEFT WITHOUT CHANGES
Krymskii Protsess, 10 August 2021
A panel of a Sevastopol city court, including Judge Vasily Arkhimov, left in force the verdict of the court of first instance in the case of Viktor Stashevsky, who was sentenced to six and a half years for arranging the activity of a religious association of Jehovah's Witnesses, who are forbidden in the Russian Federation. This was reported by a Krymskii Protsess correspondent from the Sevastopol city courthouse.
According to his report, the session was held behind closed doors. Stashevsky was not present at the review of the appeal and he participated by means of video conferencing. The review of the appeal took about 40 minutes. The announcement of the sentence was public. Information about the participants in the trial and also information about the decision reached is not available on the official website of the court.
We recall that on 4 June 2019, in Sevastopol, the F.S.B. conducted searches in at least 9 homes of local believers. The 52-year-old Viktor Stashevsky was arrested, but on the next day he was released from the holding cell under a pledge not to leave his place of residence. A criminal case was opened against him on the basis of the article "Arranging the activity of an extremist organization" (part 1, article 282.2 of CC RF). On 29 March of this year the Gagarin district court of Sevastopol sentenced him to six and a half years incarceration to be served in a penal colony of medium security and to restriction on public activity and publishing informational materials for a period of seven years. Stashevsky was placed in custody directly in the courthouse after the announcement of the verdict. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 August 2021)Russia Religion News Current News Items
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