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Oryol Court Hears First Testimony in Trial of Dennis Christensen

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Just posted on jw.org...

 

https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/by-region/russia/oryol-first-testimony-trial-dennis-christensen/

 

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The hearing will resume on May 14, 2018, and is scheduled to continue for several days during the month. If convicted, Mr. Christensen could face a prison term of six to ten years. Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are alarmed at this possibility and are concerned for the welfare of both Mr. Christensen and his wife, Irina.

 

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Update:

https://www.jw-russia.org/news/18051523-314.html

 

In the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Orel the hearing on the criminal case of Dennis Christensen, who has been in the local pre-trial detention center for almost a year, continued.

The meeting was opened at 10:40. Three witnesses of the prosecution appeared in court. They were explained their rights and duties and one by one they were invited to the hall.

The first interrogator was the district police officer Maxim Ranev, in whose territory the building is located, in which Jehovah's Witnesses conducted their divine services. After the court decision to liquidate and ban the activities of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Orla, Ranev did not visit this building, did not go inside. He also explained that he can not distinguish the activity of a religious group from the activities of an LRO because he has no right to conduct operative-search activities.

The second prosecution witness, Eduard Gavrikov, said that his mother, with whom he does not live, professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. Gavrikov honestly admitted that he treats Jehovah's Witnesses negatively, considers this religion to be false. He knows about divine services from the words of his mother. Christensen came to his mother's apartment to help rescue her niece, who because of the broken castle could not get out of the bathroom. When Gavrikova was asked what he understood under the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, he replied that these were people who believed in Jehovah God. Worships of the Witnesses, he never visited, because he did not see the point in this. He himself was Orthodox, he was baptized in the Orthodox Church, by his own admission, without asking his consent.

The third prosecution witness, Pavel Azarenkov, is an operative with the FSB. He observed Christensen at the place of worship. I recorded everything on special equipment for audio and video recording. Before the defense could ask questions to the witness, the court declared a break until May 15, 2018.

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Update:

https://www.jw-russia.org/news/18051716-317.html

 

 

On May 15, 2018, two witnesses who were invited by the state prosecution were questioned in court, namely, the interrogation of the FSB officer Pavel Azarenkov, who conducted operative and investigative measures against Christensen, was continued and a local resident, Elena Chernitsova, was questioned, who, like Christensen, professes religion Jehovah's Witnesses.

Asked by lawyers, the FSB officer explained that the Orel Regional Court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation did not prohibit the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, that in Orel, as before, it is allowed to practice the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, it is allowed to read the Bible and pray together with others, religious beliefs, including on the street. It is noteworthy that the same clear understanding of these issues was revealed on the eve, on May 14, during the interrogation in court of district police Maxim Ranev.

During the interrogation of witness Helen Chernitsova, the court was very much interested in what her religion was like from Orthodoxy. Another question, representing for the court and the prosecution side the interest - who organized the cleaning of the hall for worship, who encouraged her to take part in it. The witness explained that she was cleaning herself on her own initiative, driven by religious feelings, since Jehovah God is pure and holy. However, it was clearly difficult to understand such an answer to the court and state prosecutors.

On the question of the court on the place of work, the witness Chernitsova explained that she worked as a castellant in the kindergarten No. 11 in Orel, but shortly after Christensen's arrest, she was forced to resign because she was employed by the FSB and explained to the head of T. Kostina that Jehovah's Witnesses "They do not have the right to work in kindergartens." When the lawyers tried to find out from the witness the names of those officers of the FSB, the court stated that it was removing all questions related to the incident.

The continuation of the hearing is scheduled for May 16, 2018.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tortuga said:

The witness explained that she was cleaning herself on her own initiative, driven by religious feelings, since Jehovah God is pure and holy. However, it was clearly difficult to understand such an answer to the court and state prosecutors.

I thought that was a wonderful way this sister explained her "cleaning" or way of worship. This is a good example for us because we also some day may have to respond to officials, investigators, a judge. And rather than just saying, "Well this is what our organization teaches", it is better to express our bible based belief. Of course our belief does come from being taught by Jehovah's sons, but just because a religion teaches something doesn't mean you personally believe it. So I thought this sister's response was excellent, and she also was able to mention God's name, what a good witness she gave. (tu)

Edited by Beggar for the Spirit

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 1:16 AM, Tortuga said:

The continuation of the hearing is scheduled for May 16, 2018

jw-russia.org: May 16, 2018. A hearing on the case of a Danish believer in Orel

continues today Monday, May 21, 2018

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jw-russia.org: The Government of Denmark as the third party in the case of Christensen v. Russia in the European Court of Justice

 

On May 15, 2018, the Kingdom of Denmark sent a statement to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on becoming a third person in the Christensen v. Russia case.

Included:

Unofficial translation

Application No. 39417/17

Dennis Ole Christensen v. Russia

Comments of the Government of Denmark

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Anton Chivchalov twitter account brought this to my attention

www2.stetson.edu: Newspaper interviews Christensen defense attorney

 

In the article is a link to the original article in Russian.

"NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE CHARGE"--ATTORNEY

In Orel, Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen is being tried "because he read the Bible"

by Alena Posadskaia

7X7 Journal, 31 May 2018

Here is the link with google translate: "The charge is not clear to anyone."

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In the Russian Empire, the religious organization "Jehovah's Witnesses" * was officially registered on September 24, 1913. During the Soviet era, Jehovah's Witnesses were persecuted. In 1949 and 1951, they were sent to Siberia, Kazakhstan and the Far East along with their families. The largest deportation of Jehovah's Witnesses to Siberia was operation "North", when for two days (April 1 and 2, 1951) thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses and their families were taken to Siberia. Subsequently, they were fully rehabilitated and recognized as victims of political repression. 

History continues to repeat itself.

Mind-boggling... 😳

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https://www.jw-russia.org/news/18060515-340.html

May 30, 2018 the meeting began with the petition of the prosecutor's office - to limit the media in covering this process. Defendant Dennis Christensen, not seeing his own guilt before people and God, on the contrary, said that secrecy would limit his right to defend himself. The court made a ruling - to refuse to the prosecutor's office in this petition. Before the court proceeded to interview the "secret witness", the lawyers asked him personally to make sure that no one was sitting next to the witness, who would tell him the answers, and also that he had no records, which he would have peeked. Judge Rudnev retired and on his return confirmed that the witness sits alone in the room and there is no access to him. But as soon as his interrogation began, it became clear that the equipment distorts the voice of the "secret witness" so much that it is impossible to understand for certain, what he says. In this regard, the court postponed the questioning until June 3, 2018, promising to find the best equipment.

 

Good grief, you would think they know what a kangaroo sounds like by now...

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I was catching up on the reading at jw-russia.org and it's quite obvious to see the FSB/KGB pattern of attack  to entrap JW's (which no doubt has been on-going for decades):

 

- Approach one of JW's

- Feign interest and ask questions (while smiling)

- Secretly record conversations and KH services attended

- Hand over so-called "video evidence" to the secret police

- Arrest of JW ensues.


An ultimate betrayal of the highest degree!  Isn't this the very same tactics that had unjustly entrapped Brother Akhmedov in Kazakhstan?  This secret witness at Bro. Christensen' trial  is the catalyst responsible for sparking the attack against our brother.

 

 

(I would not want to be in his shoes.)

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They listened on his phone conversations with his father, and the father told him if they sentence you to prison, you can preach there.  Then they had a spy encouraging him to leave Russia, due to the persecution of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but he refused to go there and said he must stay he would never leave his family.  So now they couldn't get nothing else on him, his next trial date is in this month September.   Excerpt from the Russian news above.  

 

May Jehovah continue to give our brother Holy Spirit, and that he allows the court to be made a joke to the world (which everyone already knows they are).  Br. Christensen, is free soon.  

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On 9/12/2018 at 5:04 PM, Allabord4Jah said:

May Jehovah continue to give our brother Holy Spirit, and that he allows the court to be made a joke to the world (which everyone already knows they are).  Br. Christensen, is free soon.  

Indeed, in reality Br. Christensen, is the one who is free. His jailers are the ones who are in prison to this worlds corruption.

However, we must continue our prayers on his behalf and his family...

Further Court hearings for brother Dennis Christensen are scheduled in the city of Orel 25 and 26 September 2018

 

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USCIRF has recognized as a prisoner of conscience one of the Russian Jehovah's Witnesses

 

https://www.jw-russia.org/news/18092718-481.html

 

On September 26, 2018, Christina Arriaga, deputy chairman of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom ( USCIRF ), announced the inclusion of Dennis Christensen, who has been imprisoned for more than a year and a half in a Russian prison for her faith, on the list of "Religious prisoners of conscience" .

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Update:

https://www.jw-russia.org/news/19011723-565.html

 

On January 21, 2019, hearings in the case of Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen will continue in the Orel Railway Court. Probably, the debate of the parties will begin on this day, during which representatives of the prosecution will say what punishment, in their opinion, should be assigned to the believer. After the debate, the defendant will be given the last word and the court will retire to the deliberation room for sentencing.

 

On January 16, 2019, the court almost ended the judicial investigation of the case. The witnesses for the prosecution and the defense were questioned, the materials and evidence in the case were examined. The defendant presented his explanations to the court. The parties to the defense filed petitions, the resolution of which was postponed until January 21, 2019. The parties confirmed to the court that they were ready to speak at the debate.

 

Dennis Christensen’s accusation of “organizing the activities of an extremist organization” (Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) is based on the court’s decision to liquidate and ban the activities of the local religious organization (LRO) of Jehovah's Witnesses in Orel. The believer himself denies any connection with extremism and insists on his complete innocence.

 

The hearing will begin on January 21, 2019 at 11:00 in the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Orel at the address: ul. Maxim Gorky, 45-a.

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Thanks Richard, a further update shows the case on Dennis Christensen may reach a conclusion possibly as early as tomorrow ....(using google translate)....

“The debates of the parties will begin on January 23, 2019 at 10:30. During the debate, representatives of the prosecution will state what punishment, in their opinion, should be assigned to the believer. Then Dennis Christensen will be given the last word and the court will move to the deliberation room for sentencing.”

 

He can be assured of our prayers.

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https://jw-russia.org/news/19012312-577.html

 

On January 23, 2019, in the Eagle's Railway Court, a representative of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Oryol Region, Ivan Fomin, speaking in a debate, asked the court to appoint Dennis Christensen a penalty of 6.5 years in a penal colony.

At the debate advocates speak. Then Dennis Christensen will be given the last word and the court will move to the deliberation room for sentencing.

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Here is the English link

https://jw-russia.org/en/news/19012312-577.html

 

On January 23, 2019, concluding pleadings in the case of Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen began in the Zheleznodorozhniy District Court of Oryol. He is charged with “organizing the activity of an extremist organization.” In his final pleadings the prosecutor, Ivan Fomin, requested that Dennis Christensen spend 6 years, 6 months, in prison. Next, Dennis Christensen will present his concluding statements, after which the court will retire to the deliberation room to render its verdict.

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Cast in Russia as 'Enemy Within', Jehovah's Witnesses See Soviet History Replay (usnews.com)

The trial of the 46-year-old builder is seen by the United States and the European Union as a litmus test for religious freedom, and the latest twist in a worsening East-West standoff.

The U.S.-headquartered Jehovah's Witnesses have been under pressure for years in Russia, where the Orthodox Church is championed by President Vladimir Putin. Orthodox scholars have cast them as a dangerous foreign sect that erodes state institutions and traditional values, allegations they reject.

But Russia's latest falling-out with the West, triggered by Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, spurred a more determined drive to push out "the enemy within".

After Crimea was seized, a giant poster hung in central Moscow bearing the faces of Kremlin critics and labeling them as "a fifth column". One of them, opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, was later shot dead.

It was in that atmosphere that a court in Oryol outlawed the local Jehovah's Witnesses in 2016, and Russia's Supreme Court in 2017 found the group to be an "extremist" organization and ordered it to disband nationwide.

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The BBC Russian has published a huge front-page report on the trial of Dennis Christensen, detailing his life in Russia and the general situation surrounding Jehovah's Witnesses.  I have used Google Translate to translate it into English and corrected some of Google's mistakes to make it more readable to an English-speaking audience. It is a good witness to all Russian-speakers. :)

 


The original: https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-46946592

 

NOTE: Please provide just a link and a brief excerpt of the article.

Edited by Tortuga

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4 hours ago, Bek said:

The BBC Russian has published a huge front-page report on the trial of Dennis Christensen, detailing his life in Russia and the general situation surrounding Jehovah's Witnesses.  I have used Google Translate to translate it into English and corrected some of Google's mistakes to make it more readable to an English-speaking audience. It is a good witness to all Russian-speakers. :)

 


The original: https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-46946592

Brother Nurzat corrected the Google translation of this article and has made it available on request. PM him if you would like the full article in English.

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