Photo: Alexey Metzger with his wife Irina

Criminal trial

"Because of [the persecution], my faith has become even stronger." Alexei Metzger's last word at the trial in Perm

Perm Territory

What was Alexey Metzger talking about on November 12, 2019, before the Ordzhonikidze District Court of Perm fined him 350 thousand rubles for practicing his religion? The full text of the last word is given.

The defendant told the court about how knowledge from the Bible helped him overcome bad habits and become a law-abiding person. He dispelled several common myths about Jehovah's Witnesses, such as that they "destroy families." Aleksey stressed that he was proud to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses and thanked the prosecution: "I want to say not just thank you, but a huge thank you, because thanks to you my faith has become even stronger. The Bible says that anyone who wants to live a life of devotion to God will be persecuted. It convinces me that I'm on the right track."

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Case of Metsger in Perm

Case history
On April 25, 2019, A. E. Leontiev, investigator of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Perm Territory, opened a criminal case against 43-year-old Aleksey Metzger for participation in extremist activities (part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) solely on the basis that he professes the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is based on audio recordings of peaceful discussion of biblical teachings by believers. Aleksey’s case was separated from the criminal case of Aleksandr Solovyov, another believer from Perm. Thanks to his faith, Alexey was able to get rid of bad habits and create a strong family. Despite all this, the investigation charged a simple civil engineer with a serious criminal article. On November 14, 2019, Judge Svetlana Chereneva from the Ordzhonikidze District Court of Perm found the believer guilty and sentenced him to a fine of 350 thousand rubles. The Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation dismissed the appeal against the decision of the lower court.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Perm Territory
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, he "propagandized the activity of a banned organization, directly pa​rticipated in the events conducted by Jehovah's Witnesses, and commited other actions aimed at conducting and participating in such events"
Court case number:
June 10, 2019
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Perm Territory
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Орджоникидзевский районный суд Перми
Светлана Черенева