Ivan Shulyuk with his wife Yuliya on the day of appeal
Appeal in Krasnoyarsk Upheld Ivan Shulyuk's Sentence: Seven Years Suspended Sentence for His ConvictionsKrasnoyarsk Territory
On September 19, 2023, by the decision of a panel of judges of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court chaired by Diana Davydenko, the sentence against Ivan Shulyuk, 47, a Jehovah's Witness from Siberia, was enforced.
In May 2023, the court imposed a seven year suspended sentence on Shulyuk with a four year probationary period. They viewed the discussion of the Bible, prayers and singing religious songs with friends as organizing the activities of an extremist organization. The believer does not agree with the sentence that was enforced. In his final statement to the court of appeal, he said that the investigation is confusing the meaning of the law, as it "deliberately interprets legitimate religious activity as being the activity of a banned legal entity."
In the Krasnoyarsk Territory, 30 Jehovah's Witnesses have already faced persecution for their faith and ten of them have been convicted. Human rights activists unanimously condemn the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. Elizabeth Clark, an international expert on human rights and European Union law, said: "Jehovah's Witnesses . . . face increasing persecution of its members in Russia for exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief. This violates Russia's obligations under international law and its own Constitution."