Cast in Russia as ‘enemy within’, Jehovah’s Witnesses see Soviet history replay

By Andrew Osborn | Reuters

ORYOL, Russia (Reuters) – The first Jehovah’s Witness detained for extremism in Russia has likened the authorities’ behavior to that of Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union ahead of a verdict in his trial.

Armed police scaled the gates of a compound where the Christian denomination was meeting in Oryol, some 200 miles (320 km) south of Moscow, in May 2017 and detained Dennis Christensen, a Danish national, on extremism charges.

He has spent the last 20 months in a cold cell with suspected drug dealers and only been allowed to meet his wife, separated by bars and a corridor, twice a month. If convicted, he could spend up to a decade in jail.

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