COURT IMPOSES LARGE FINE ON SECOND BELIEVER IN OREL
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 1 April 2019
To find Sergei Vladimirovich Skrynnikov guilty on the basis of part 2 of article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and to sentence him to a fine totaling 350 thousand rubles. Such a decision with respect to a peaceful teacher was announced on 1 April 2019 by Gleb Noskov, judge of the Zheleznodorozhny district court of the city of Orel. The case against Sergei Skrinnikov was separated out of the criminal case of Dennis Christensen, who earlier was sentenced by the same court to six years in a prison colony.
In both criminal cases there were no victims or aggrieved persons. The criminal prosecution is a direct consequence of the liquidation and ban on the activity of registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses. Russian law enforcement personnel mistakenly view joint profession of faith by citizens, a right which has not been repealed, as participation in an extremist organization.
The case of Sergei Skrynnikov was opened by the Investigative Committee of Russia (S.K.R.) for Orel oblast on 20 February 2018 on the basis of the article regarding "participation in the activity of an extremist organization." A written promise not to depart [travel restriction] was taken from the believer. In May 2018, a search was conducted in his home during which not a single item forbidden by law was found.
Accusations of calls for destruction of the family and for not recognizing authority, that were brought by the investigators against Sergei Skrynnikov, were considered by the court to be far-fetched. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 April 2019)
Orel Jehovah's Witness addresses court; awaits sentence Monday
March 29, 2019
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