DEFENSE OF DANISH JEHOVIST DENNIS CHRISTENSEN APPEALS SENTENCE OF OREL COURT
Kommersant, 18 February 2019
The attorney of Dennis Christensen, the Dane who was found guilty of reviving the Orel cell of Jehovah's Witnesses (an organization considered in the RF to be extremist and forbidden) and who was sentenced to six years in a penal colony of general regime, filed an appeal of the sentence. The appeal will be reviewed in Orel oblast court. "We request the cancellation of the sentence and complete acquittal of Christensen because of the absence of the essence of a crime," attorney Anton Bogdanov explained for Kommersant.
Dennis Christensen received six years in the colony for "substantial actions of an organizational nature," which he undertook for reviving the local religious organization of the Orel Jehovah's Witnesses, in early February. We recall that the organization was ruled to be extremist and liquidated in 2016. The court considered that it was proven that Dennis Christensen arranged activities and worship services, distributed extremist literature, and collected funds "under the guise of contributions." The defense insists that there was no extremism in the Dane's actions and conducting worship services is not prohibited by law.
The sentencing of Dennis Christensen evoked a negative reaction in the West, specifically in the European Union, which urged the "immediate and unconditional" release of the preacher. (tr. by PDS, posted 19 February 2019)
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