Dennis Christensen is a Jehovah’s Witnesses prisoner of conscience imprisoned in Russia. As per some recent reportage on the violation of the rights of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the human rights to freedom of religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are being violated.
Christensen was granted parole on June 23 while USCIRF, or The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (Washington, D.C.) expressed concern for the health and wellbeing of him. Prosecutor Aleksei Shatunov appealed the decision. Christian remains in prison and will stay there until the next hearing. This could take several weeks.
He – Christensen – is eligible for release in early 2021 based on pre-trial detention time served. However, his health has deteriorated while in custody, which is the reason for the reportage and the concern coming from the USCIRF. He had contracted pneumonia while his scheduled time to remain in prison is until May 25, 2022.
USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin stated, “USCIRF urges the Russian government to show clemency. The ongoing imprisonment of Dennis Christensen is truly unconscionable. This man has already forfeited his freedom for exercising his peaceful religious beliefs; it would be an atrocity for him to forfeit his life. Russia must free Mr. Christensen immediately.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses reported 24 are under house arrest, 24 are in pretrial detention, and 10 are imprisoned in Russia. The USCIRF in its annual report stipulated that Russia is a country of particular concern based on violations of religious freedom.
With files from The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.