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Jailing of Jehovah’s Witnesses ushers in return of religious persecution in Putin’s Russia

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The jailing and six-year prison sentence handed down to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia has been widely condemned by the international community, including the EU.

Their arrests follow the jailing of Danish-born Dennis Christensen, a Danish national, by a Russian court in the city of Oryol on February 19. The case dated back to May 2017 when Christensen was arrested by Russia’s FSB security service agents after they raided a peaceful religious meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oryol.



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From article:

Memorial, a Russian civil rights society, demanded that he and other imprisoned Jehova’s Witnesses be released.

Its statement condemned the “shameful and illegal decision which has brought Russia into line with countries that are notorious for the most odious regimes. Jehovah’s Witnesses were brutally persecuted in Nazi Germany, but in democratic countries, Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to operate freely. A six-year sentence for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of worship is comparable to the punishment that Jehovah’s Witnesses received in Soviet times.”

Referring to the “persecution” of Jehovah’s Witnesses the group said, “There are hundreds of ruined lives due to this. It is absurd when Jehovah’s Witnesses who were convicted by the old Soviet regime are also recognised as victims of political repression by Russia’s Law on Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repressions (1991), but at the same time, current followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses are sent to prison.”

“This verdict again proves the shortcomings of Russian anti-extremist legislation which means almost everyone can be added to the list of extremists. We demand to lift the unconstitutional ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

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