Elena Menchikova at the court. Screenshot of the website containing information about criminal cases against Jehovah's Witnesses* in Russia

24 January 2024, 18:18

Prosecutor demands five years in colony for believer from Cherkessk

Following the retrial of her case by the court, Elena Menchikova, a Jehovah's Witness*, should be sentenced to five years in penal colony, the prosecutor has demanded. The woman has rejected the accusations of extremism and called on the court to be impartial, the human rights project "OVD-Info"** has informed.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in December 2021, a court in Cherkessk, the capital of the Karachay-Cherkessian Republic (KChR), recognized Menchikova as a member of an organization banned in Russia and sentenced her to five years of probation (conditional imprisonment), disagreeing with the prosecutor's demand to send her to a colony for five years. The KChR's Supreme Court (SC) upheld the probation, but Menchikova filed an appeal. As a result, the cassation court sent the case for a retrial.

On April 20, 2017, the Russian SC banned the religious communities of Jehovah's Witnesses in the country as extremist.

In court, the 58-year-old Jehovah's Witness with a disability, Elena Menchikova, did not deny that she had been professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses for about 30 years, but insisted that this was her constitutional right. She expressed her conviction that the actions of Jehovah's Witnesses do not in any way undermine the state's security or threaten its integrity, but stick to strict political neutrality.

*396 Russian organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses are recognized as extremist, and their activities in Russia are banned by court's decision.

**Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 23, 2024 at 00:24 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: Caucasian Knot

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