2020-10-08 15:51:00

Organizer, 5 followers of Ulyanovsk Jehovah's Witnesses group get suspended prison terms

Ulyanovsk, October 8, Interfax - The Zasviyazhsky District Court of Ulyanovsk on Thursday gave suspended prison sentences to followers of the religious organization Jehovah's Witnesses, which is banned in Russia, according to a report posted on the website of the region's prosecutors.

"Six defendants were given suspended prison terms ranging between two years and two months and three and a half years," the report said.

The defendants were found guilty of participation in the work of a religious association regarding which there was a court decision on closure in legal force.

The state prosecutors had sought seven years in a general-security penal colony for the leader of the organization and three to four and a half years in a general security penal colony for the other five defendants.

The opening of the criminal case was reported in February 2019.

According to the press service for the Federal Security Service's directorate for the region, the participants held secret meetings where extremist materials were studied, promoted the supremacy of the organization's ideas over other religious doctrines, and recruited new members to the group.

The Russian Supreme Court on April 20, 2017 granted the Russian Justice Ministry's lawsuit, recognizing Russia's Jehovah's Witnesses as an extremist organization and banning its operations in the territory of Russia.