A Tomsk Court of Appeals Upheld Yevgeniy Korotun's Sentence — Seven Years in Prison for Believing in Jehovah GodTomsk Region
On May 16, 2022, a panel of judges of the Tomsk Regional Court chaired by Yuriy Krivoshein upheld the sentence of 52-year-old Jehovah's Witness Yevgeniy Korotun. By leaving the believer behind bars, the authorities deprived him of the opportunity to raise his minor son.
The verdict has entered into force. Taking into account the time spent in the pre-trial detention center, Korotun will have to serve another 4.5 years in a general regime colony. The believer considers himself innocent and can appeal the verdict in cassation.
Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted in the Tomsk region since 2017. Four believers were sent to penal colonies for terms ranging from two to seven years just because they did not renounce their peaceful Christian beliefs. Two defend their good name in court, and 80-year-old Yelena Savelyeva, an honorary teacher, was sentenced to four years of suspended sentence.
Experts condemn the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. “The extremist status of the ‘Witnesses’ has deprived Russian society of the possibility of ‘self-adjusting the religious space’, when denominations can themselves agree among themselves on the rules of public behavior, and the state should only act as an arbiter in these relations,” believes religious scholar Mikhail Zherebyatyev.