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  2. A court in Arkhangelsk fined a native of Karelia for 850 thousand rubles for talks on the Bible

A court in Arkhangelsk fined a native of Karelia for 850 thousand rubles for talks on the Bible

Yulia Polushina
Photo by Maria Startseva

On July 19, the Solombala District Court of Arkhangelsk fined 41-year-old Yevgeny Yakku from Karelia for involving citizens in the activities of an extremist organization (Part 1.1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This is stated on the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia* Website.

The Investigation Committee for Arkhangelsk Oblast and the NAO opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Yakku in February 2020. He was accused of organizing and participating in the activities of a religious association and of involving a minor in the activities of an extremist organization.

According to the investigation, no later than December 2017, the accused organized group meetings in several apartments, located in the regional center and the Primorsky District, for preaching and encouraging citizens to study literature on the subject in order to attract new adepts, including minors.

According to the website of Jehovah's Witnesses*, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence Yevgeny Yakku to 7.5 years in a penal colony and 2.5 years of custodial restraint. In February 2019, security forces searched the believer’s house. He himself was put in a temporary holding facility for two days. After that, the man was restrained for two years and five months. In April 2019, the believer was included in the state list of extremists. On July 19, the court sentenced Yakku to a fine of 850 thousand rubles.

Members of the religious organization claimed irregularities in proceedings. In particular, they claim that one of the prosecuting witnesses reported pressure from the investigator to fabricate testimony, but the investigator denied this. Another prosecuting witness, priest of one of the local churches Feodosiy Nesterov, was not acquainted with the defendant, but claimed that magazines published by Jehovah's Witnesses*, "clearly showed motives for promoting intolerance... Although it was not on all pages and in pseudonymous form."

In the region, in addition to Yevgeny Yakku, 78-year-old Kaleria Mamykina from Arkhangelsk was persecuted for her faith. In November 2019, the investigation closed her criminal case for the absence of the event of a crime. The believer died of complications after coronavirus in June 2021, before being completely rehabilitated.


* В материале упомянута организация Свидетели Иеговы, деятельность которой запрещена в РФ
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