RUSSIA: Six years in prison for a Jehovah’s Witness from Kazan
JW-Russia (08.12.2023) – On 7 December 2023, the criminal case against Jehovah’s Witness Aleksey Gerasimov was completed in the Kirovsky District Court of Kazan. Judge Anna Kryuchenkova sentenced the believer to 6 years of imprisonment for reading the Bible with friends. He was taken into custody from the courtroom.
In March 2022, searches were conducted in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kazan. Several of them, including Gerasimov, were interrogated. According to investigators, Aleksey continued to meet with fellow believers to discuss the Holy Scriptures, which the authorities considered to be undermining the foundations of the constitutional order of Russia.
In September 2022, law enforcement officers accused Gerasimov of organizing the activities of an extremist organization (Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The decision to initiate a criminal case stated that unidentified persons “involved individual residents of Kazan” in religious activities, “gave lectures and showed videos promoting the ideas of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The investigation was conducted by the investigator of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Tatarstan A. A. Giniyatullin, and in January 2023 the case was transferred to the court, where it was considered for almost another year.
In June 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation liquidated all legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses but did not factually prohibit the practice of this faith in Russia.
Photo : The bailiffs take away handcuffed Alexey Gerasimov. December 2023(source jw.org)