Photo: Dennis Christensen outside the building of Jehovah's Witnesses in Orel, 2009
Whether the Danish believer will be released from custody, the court in Oryol decidesOryol Region
On July 20, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., the Sovetskiy District Court of Oryol begins a hearing on further restraint for an innocent Jehovah's Witness, a Danish citizen, who has been languishing in the Oryol pre-trial detention center since May 25 just because he read the Bible with fellow believers. He is charged with violating Article 282.2 ("Organization of the activities of an extremist organization").
The case of Dane Dennis Christensen, who has been living in Oryol for more than 10 years, will be heard by the same judge Svetlana Naumova, who previously considered detention to be the only possible preventive measure for law-abiding Dennis. The FSB investigator in charge of the case again asks the court for the most severe measure of restraint.
There are oddities in this case. Of particular bewilderment were the circumstances of the appeal hearing on the decision on detention, which was to be held on June 7, 2017 in the Oryol Regional Court under the chairmanship of Judge Igor Paukov. The hearing was unexpectedly postponed until June 21 due to the lack of a Danish translator, but an article suddenly appeared in the official newspaper stating that "the Oryol Regional Court upheld the decision of the district court to arrest a Danish citizen." Such a "false start" leads to suspicion that the decision was made and communicated to the journalists of the official newspaper even before the court hearing with the participation of an interpreter, which took place more than 10 days later, on June 21, 2017.
Another oddity is that investigators continue to convince the court that the Danish citizen was allegedly the head of the banned local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Orel. In fact, he was never not only a leader, but also a member of this organization, as is easy to see by referring to official information.
Lawyers continue to work actively, proving the complete innocence of the believer.