Five Jehovah's Witnesses in Perm in law's clutches


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 29 August 2019


On 22 August 2019, a 43-year-old resident of Perm, Aleksei Metsger, was officially charged as a defendant for allegedly participating in extremist activity. He gave a signed promise not to depart from his place of residence. The believer faces up to six years incarceration merely for professing his religion.


Despite the absence of victims, law enforcement agencies are convinced that the actions of Metsger constitute a serious crime. An investigator of especially serious cases, E. Leontiev, has opened a criminal case against another peaceful believer based on part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (participation in activity of an extremist organization). The defendant has already begun acquainting himself with the materials of the case. Then it will be sent to court.


Aleksei Metsger now becomes the fifth resident of Perm territory against whom a criminal case has been opened because of professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. His case was separated out from the case of Alexander Soloviev, who has already been convicted on a similar article. On 4 July 2019, he was sentenced to a fine of 300,000 rubles. Another three residents of Perm te4rritory are now under investigation: Boris Burylov, Viktor Kuchkov, and Igor Turik.


These criminal cases are a direct consequence of the decision of the Russian Supreme Court liquidating and banning the activity of all organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. Law enforcers incorrectly interpret joint confession of religion as participation in extremist activity, violating article 28 of the constitution of the RF, which guarantees freedom of religious confession for all persons. (tr. by PDS, posted 29 August 2019)

Background articles:
Third criminal conviction of Jehovah's Witness this year
July 4, 2019
Prosecutor claims Jehovah's Witnesses' crime is severe
September 19, 2018

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