Amnesty International called a prisoner of conscience convicted “Jehovah’s witness” from Yalta

Artem Gerasimov

KIEV. June 6. UNN. International human rights organization Amnesty International condemns the denial of and justification replacement of previously appointed punishment in the form of a fine to imprisonment for a term of six years by the “Jehovah’s witness” from Yalta to Artem Gerasimov in the annexed Crimea and calls him a prisoner of conscience. This was reported by Ukrainian branch of the international human rights organization, reports UNN citing “Radio Liberty”.

“Artem Gerasimov and all the other “Jehovah’s Witnesses” deprived of liberty solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of religion and belief, are prisoners of conscience. They should be immediately and unconditionally released, their sentences vacated, and all charges against them withdrawn,” the message reads.

Amnesty International researcher in Russia, Natalia Prilutsky stressed that “Jehovah’s Witnesses” by the Russian authorities on religious grounds “as used in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.”

“Breaking the mode of publicity, Gerasimov was tried behind closed doors, allegedly because of fears for the safety of witnesses. It is unclear, however, what witnesses, if he secretly did something criminal. Even the appeal process was not transparent under the pretext of combating coronavirus infection in the courtroom did not allow anyone except the parties involved. This is an outrageous violation of the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of Association and to a fair trial”, she added.

Earlier human rights activists reported that under the control of the Supreme court of Crimea has satisfied the appeal of the Russian Prosecutor’s office against a member of the organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” from Yalta Artem Gerasimov, having made the decision depriving him of liberty for a term of six years.

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The man was taken into custody in the courtroom. While listeners who wanted to support the defendant in the court building are not missed.

The prosecution Artem Gerasimov began on 20 March 2019. He had divine services, the investigation interprets as “organization of an extremist organization”.

March 5, under the control of the Yalta city court sentenced the member of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” Artem Gerasimov to a fine in the amount of 400 thousand rubles.

The U.S. delegation to the OSCE condemned the persecution of Muslims and “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in the Crimea.