- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Russian court has issued an early release for a Jehovah’s Witness who was convicted under the nation’s “extremist” law for his faith.

A judge in the Lgovskiy District Court in southwestern Russia on Tuesday released Dennis Christensen from prison, three years into a six-year sentence.

The rest of his sentence will be paid in a fine of 400,000 rubles (less than $6,000), according to a spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“We are pleased that Dennis may be going home to his wife, family, and friends in the coming weeks,” said spokesman Jarrod Lopes. “However, it is unconscionable, after Dennis‘ harrowing experiences in prison, that he should have to pay a fine.”

Last month, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Russia to immediately release all Jehovah’s Witness prisoners, especially given the risk of COVID-19.

Mr. Christensen had been eligible for early release since his arrest in May 2017.

Since his arrest, nearly 200 other members of the Christian faith have spent time in prison or pretrial detention in Russia.

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