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Dennis Christensen

Country: Russia


Key Fact: Danish citizen and Jehovah's Witness

Charges: "continuing the activities" of an extremist group (Jehovah’s Witnesses) 

Possible Sentence: 10 years imprisonment

Biography: Dennis Ole Christensen is a Danish citizen, who lives in Oryol, Russia. Before his detention, he worked as a carpenter while living with his wife, Irina Christensen, who is a Russian Citizen. In June 2016, the Oryol Regional Court determined the local Jehovah’s Witness group "extremist.” On May 25, 2017, members of the Federal Security Service (FSB) disrupted a Jehovah’s Witness prayer service. Detaining some 70-80 people within the building for several hours, the authorities would ultimately hold about 20 persons overnight before arresting Dennis Christensen and 15 Russian citizens. As of September 13, 2018, Christensen has appeared 38 times at Oryol’s District Court. He is charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 for "continuing the activities" of an extremist group. On July 30, 2018, the judge extended Christensen's detention until 1 November.  His next hearing is scheduled for September 25.


USCIRF Advocate: Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga


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