Week-ending 12 February 2021
On 10 February Aleksandr Ivshin (pictured, left), a 63-year-old Jehovah’s Witness, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison by a court in Abinsk, Krasnodar region. The organisations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned in Russia as ‘extremist’ by decision of the Russian Supreme Court in 2017.
Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia: Name: Ivshin, Aleksandr Yevgeniyevich Born: 1957 Current status:convicted person Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (1) Detained since: February 10, 2021 Current restrictions:detention center Currently held in: Detention Centre No.3 for Krasnodar Territory Address for correspondence: Ivshin Aleksandr Yevgeniyevich, 1957 born, Detention Centre No.3 for Krasnodar Territory, Ul. Parkhomenko, 33, Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Territory, 353905 Letters of support can be sent via hard copy or via the “FSIN-letter“. (Note: discussing topics related to criminal prosecution is not allowed in letters; languages other than Russian will not pass.)
RFE/RL, 11 February 2021: A court in Russia’s Krasnodar region has sentenced a 63-year-old Jehovah’s Witness to 7 1/2 years in prison, a decision immediately condemned by the U.S. State Department. The sentence is the harshest since authorities launched a campaign against the religious group after it was officially labeled as extremist and banned in the country in 2017. The Abinsk district court on February 10 found Aleksandr Ivshin guilty of the “organization of an extremist group.
RFE/RL further reports:
“Yaroslav Sivulsky of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses told RFE/RL on February 11 that this was the “harshest sentence ever given to a Jehovah’s Witness in Russia” and is “equal to life imprisonment” given Ivshin’s age. “Aleksandr Ivshin is an old person and has medical problems. In fact, he was handed a prison term that might be longer that the time he will live,” Sivulsky said. Ivshin pleaded not guilty, saying that his life principles are based on Bible teachings that do not include violence and extremism. Investigators say that Ivshin organized online Bible studies with other members of the group, which according to them, is a crime since the religious group is officially banned in the country.”