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Left to right: Brothers Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov, prior to their arrest

JANUARY 17, 2020

Brothers Markin and Trofimov Face Up to Six and a Half Years in Prison

Brothers Markin and Trofimov Face Up to Six and a Half Years in Prison

A verdict is expected on January 22, 2020, in the case against Brothers Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov. The prosecution has requested that the court sentence them up to six and a half years in prison.

The brothers’ ordeal began on April 18, 2018, when armed and masked special forces raided their homes in the Russian city of Polyarny. The police arrived late in the night at Brother Markin’s home and broke down the door. Threatening Brother Markin with automatic weapons, the officers forced him to lie on the floor while they searched his home. Brother Markin’s 16-year-old daughter, who was present during the raid, also dropped to the floor and covered her head with her arms.

An additional four homes of Witnesses were raided that night in Polyarny. The officers took more than a dozen brothers and sisters, including Brothers Markin and Trofimov, to the investigation office for interrogation. Subsequently, the Polyarny District Court of Murmansk ruled to keep Brothers Markin and Trofimov in pretrial detention. The brothers spent nearly six months in detention, followed by four months of house arrest. On February 7, 2019, the court released them from house arrest. Although no longer confined to their homes, their travel and communications have been limited while awaiting their verdict.

There are nearly 300 Witnesses facing criminal charges in Russia. We pray that all of them will continue to be courageous and strong of heart, convinced that nothing can separate them from Jehovah’s love.—Romans 8:38, 39.