Jehovah's Witness leader loses appeal of conviction for extremism


Gorod-Che, 10 May 2016


From materials of the case it has been learned that in the period of time from 20 to 30 December 2015, the chairman of the Kirovo-Chepetsk religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Pinegin, while at his residence and using a personal computer, published on his page in the social network Odnoklassniki a link to a website that in 2013 and 2014 was ruled in Russia to be extremist and included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials.


These circumstances were revealed in the course of a prosecutorial verification jointly with police personnel.


A source in law enforcement agencies also reported that during meetings members of the Jehovah's Witnesses conducted mass distribution of religious literature, which contained statements of a negative attitude toward various elements of traditional Christianity.


From his words and from evidence of witnesses who attended events of the local organization, Roman Pinegin, who was the director of the mission, conducted propaganda of destructive religious teaching that aimed at arousing hatred or hostility toward representatives of traditional confessions and the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition it was established that Roman Pinegin uses his account on the social network for posting text publications of Jehovah's Witnesses that have been ruled to be extremist.


By decision of the Kirovo-Chepetsk district court of 16 February 2016, Roman Pinegin was held administratively accountable in accordance with article 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the RF, "production and distribution of extremist materials." He was fined 2,000 rubles without confiscation.


However the defendant did not agree with the decision of the Kirovo-Chepetsk court. He sent an appeal to the Kirov provincial court for reversal of the ruling. The reason was the absence of the essence of a crime.


In April 2016, by decision of the Kirov provincial court, the appeal of the chairman of the committee of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kirovo-Chepetsk, Roman Pinegin, was dismissed and the ruling of the Kirovo-Chepetsk district court in the case concerning administrative violation of law against this citizen was left without change.


We recall that in March public figures of Kirov sent an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the request to ban by judicial process the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses on the territory of Kirov province. "In the opinion of a whole number of Russian and foreign specialists, Jehovah's Witnesses are an organization with indicators of a totalitarian sect, where methods of strict mind control are applied," the appeal points out. In addition, within the sect prohibitions are practiced that lead to the loss of social experience and worsening of psychological and physical health and sometimes even of life. (tr. by PDS, posted 11 May 2016)

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