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Sergei and Valeria Raiman


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It is the longest prison sentence yet In Russia but ruled suspended for now.

 

Translation from this news source https://kostroma.today/news/kostromskix-svidetelej-iegovy-vstretili-posle-prigovora-cvetami/

 

The married couple Sergei and Valeria Raiman, who today were found guilty of creating the Kostroma organization of Jehovah's Witnesses (forbidden in Russia and ruled extremist), were greeted today at the courtroom with flowers from relatives, friends, and fellow believers, a Kostroma Today correspondent reports.
 
As we have already related, the court found the young people guilty on the basis of articles 282.2, part 1, and 292, part 2—"arranging the activity of an extremist organization and participating in it"—and sentenced Sergei to 8 years in prison and Valeria to 7.
 
At the same time, Judge Dmitry Balaev ruled that the prison term be considered suspended. Perhaps he took into account the fact that the young family had never in their life even been held administratively accountable, both work, and their employers gave them good character references.
 
The verdict was read for more than two hours. Judging by the text, the court practically totally agreed with the investigation and the prosecutor's office, and considered it proven that the young couple created a religious organization. The Raimans themselves and their defense say that they are being convicted for their faith, although it is not forbidden to be a Jehovah's Witness in Russia.
 
"We shall appeal the verdict, even though it is a suspended term, eight years for Sergei and seven years for Valeria, but this is very serious. As we were able to hear, they have been convicted for their faith in God. For the fact that they sat and read the Bible, or they discussed biblical truths among themselves. We think that the court based the sentence on  arguments that were not examined during the judicial session, and in sufficiently great quantity," Valeria Raimana's lawyer, Evgeny Shemberger, related to a Kostroma Today correspondent.
 
As was said in the verdict, the probationary term for the young couple consists of five years.  They must regularly report to the police and they cannot change their place of residence without permission, nor lose their jobs.

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