NOVEMBER 21, 2019
On Thursday, November 14, 2019, the Ordzhonikidzevskiy District Court of Perm’ convicted Brother Aleksey Metsger and fined him 350,000 rubles (approx. $5,460 U.S.). He is the 12th brother in Russia to be convicted this year for so-called extremist activity for peacefully practicing or sharing his beliefs. Brother Metsger’s lawyer will appeal the conviction.
On April 25, 2019, a criminal case was brought against Brother Metsger based on the fact that he professed to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some of the evidence included conversations Brother Metsger had about religion with individuals who secretly recorded their discussions.
The trial began on October 14, 2019. The city prosecutor requested that Brother Metsger be sentenced to three years in prison. Although the court did not sentence Brother Metsger to prison, we are concerned that yet another brother has been convicted and that this trend will result in many more of our brothers and sisters being prosecuted for their faith.