Photo: Alexey Metzger

Unjust Verdicts

Court of Appeal Upholds Criminal Sentence for Aleksey Metsger for Believing in Jehovah God

Perm Territory

Today, on January 13, 2020, the panel of judges of the Perm Regional Court upheld the decision of the lower court to punish Alexei Metzger for practicing his religion.

The criminal verdict under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, in which conversations on spiritual topics are interpreted as extremism, was left unchanged. Now a resident of Perm will have to pay the state a fine of 350 thousand rubles for his religious beliefs, which he has the right to profess on the basis of Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The decision has entered into force.

The penalty for believing in Jehovah was the second in the Perm region. Last summer, another civilian resident of Perm, Alexander Solovyov, was fined a comparable amount. Several other cases are pending.

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
Case History