On the photo (left to right): Vera Zolotova, Snezhana and Konstantin Bazhenov
The Appeal Did Not Change the Sentence of the Kamchatka Believers. School Teachers and a Pensioner Will Be Conditionally Deprived of Their Liberty for Two YearsKamchatka Territory
On November 17, 2020, the Kamchatka Regional Court denied the appeal of Konstantin and Snezhana Bazhenov and Vera Zolotova. The verdict of the lower court came into force.
Earlier, on September 25, 2020 the judge of the Yelizovo District Court Yulia Piskun sentenced them to two years of suspended imprisonment with a probation period of 3 years and restriction of liberty for 6 months. The court found peaceful citizens guilty of participation in activity of extremist organization (part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Crimina Code).
Criminal prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Yelizovo began in summer 2018. Bazhenov spouses and pensioner Vera Zolotova were accused of holding joint worship meetings and conversations with others about God, which was considered as "organization" of the activities of a banned extremist organization (part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code). Subsequently, when the court passed the sentence, it reclassified the charges as "participation" (part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code).
The religious persecution turned out to be not only an exhausting series of court proceedings, but also serious financial difficulties for the believers. Bazhenovs, school teachers by profession, cannot find jobs in children's institutions. Together with 74-year-old Vera Zolotova, they are included in the "List of terrorists and extremists" of Rosfinmonitoring, which means blocking all bank accounts.