• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Early Release of Jehovah’s Witness Reverted (Russian Federation: UA 99.20)

September 10, 2020

On 4 September, the Kursk Regional Court quashed the decision of the Lgov District Court to release imprisoned Danish Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen and sent the case back to the lower court for a new hearing. Dennis Christensen may remain in prison until May 2022. He is a prisoner of conscience persecuted solely for his faith and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 99.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Tsukanov Aleksey Nikolaevich Prosecutor of Kursk Region Prosecutor’s Office of Kursk Region Ul.Lenina, 21 Kursk, 305000 Russian Federation Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov Embassy of the Russian Federation 2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007 Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @RusEmbUSA Facebook: @RusEmbUSA Instagram: @RusEmbUSA Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER Dear Prosecutor of Kursk Region, I am dismayed to learn that on 4 September the Kursk Regional Court ruled to overturn the decision of the Lgov District Court granting early release to Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen and sent the case back to the Lgov District Court for review. I am also extremely concerned that the IK-3 penal colony authorities continue to harass Dennis Christensen and that he spent 27 days in a punishment cell for purported disciplinary offenses he did not commit. Dennis Christensen was convicted in February 2019 and sentenced to six years in prison simply for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of religion while practicing his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. Moreover, Dennis Christensen’s health has deteriorated during his imprisonment and he is suffering from complications caused by pneumonia he contracted last year. According to his lawyer, Dennis Christensen is not provided with the adequate medical care he requires for this and other health issues. His health condition makes him especially vulnerable in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous calls have been made internationally on governments to consider measures aimed at the release of prisoners whose health condition puts them at such risk. In April, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the governments to release political prisoners and those who might be especially at risk of contracting COVID-19. I urge you to support Dennis Christensen’s application for an early release and to ensure that, in the meantime, he is not subjected to harassment by the penal colony administration and is provided with adequate medical care. Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME] ADDITIONAL RESOURCES