SOLITARY PICKETERS IN DEFENSE OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ON MANEGE SQUARE OF MOSCOW ILLEGALLY ARRESTED
Credo.Press, 1 April 2019
Solitary pickets on the day before the sentence of Sergei Skrinnikov, a Jehovah's Witnesses from Orel, were held on 31 March on Manege Square of Moscow. Although Russian laws guarantee the right of citizens to solitary picketing without any preliminary permissions, the participants in the picketing were arrested by police, despite the law, Sota.Vision reports.
The prosecutor had requested for the believer three years in a penal colony of general regime and a year of restriction of liberty after the expiration of the term. The court of the first instance, however, restricted itself on 1 April to imposition on him of a huge monetary fine, ten times greater than the average income of the average citizen of Orel.
Participants in the picketing recalled that the prosecution of people for faith continues to gain momentum in the Russian Federation, and already now impacts representatives of many confessions and movements.
After the conclusion of the demonstration, two picketers—Dmitry Fedorov and his wife, Narina—were arrested. At the police department the activists were told that they were being checked for participation in an extremist organization and that they were detained in order to do a background check on them.
After some time, the picketers were released without the composition of reports. The arresting officers explained their actions by the claim that the demonstrators "are defending extremists." At the police department they were told the same thing, while it was explained that there had been no violation of law.
The Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and all 395 of the local religious organizations of this confession were ruled to be extremist organizations in 2017, and since then representatives of this teaching have been subjected to widespread arrests. Believers from Surgut claimed that in February of this year tortures were used on them—suffocation and electric shock. Medical expert analysis confirmed their testimony. The first criminal sentence of a Jehovah's Witness—the Dane Dennis Christensen—was issued in Orel on 6 February of this year. He was sentenced to six years in a penal colony of general regime. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 April 2019)
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