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Russia: A Danish Jehova’s Witness bags 6 years in prison over ‘extremism’.

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A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced a Jehovah’s Witness to six years in prison for “extremism”, in the first conviction of its kind since a 2017 law that outlawed the religious group.

Danish citizen Dennis Christensen was in court in the southern Russian city of Oryol for the sentencing, spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia Yaroslav Sivulskiy told said.



“We deeply regret the conviction of Dennis Christensen an innocent man who did not commit any real crime,” Sivulskiy said in a statement.

“It is sad that reading the Bible, preaching, and living a moral way of life is again a criminal offence in Russia.”

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The Jehovah’s Witnesses, a US-based Christian evangelical movement, will appeal the verdict within 10 days, according to a statement from the organisation’s head office.

A photographer outside the courtroom saw Christensen, 46, being led past a mass of supporters by police officers following the verdict.

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Rights groups have condemned the trial, with Amnesty International saying it was “emblematic of the grave human rights violations” taking place in Russia.

Armed FSB officers detained Christensen in Oryol in May 2017, shortly after Moscow banned Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organisation.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Russian: President Putin eases access to citizenship for east Ukraine residents.

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Source: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Separatist rebellions broke out against Ukrainian rule in both regions in 2014. Moscow provided military help for the separatists, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support.

Large swathes of the two regions are now under the de facto control of the Moscow-backed rebels, while Kiev says it is determined to re-assert its control, a position backed by most Western countries.

There was no immediate reaction from Kiev to Putin’s order. Ukrainian officials are likely to react angrily to any indication Moscow is drawing the rebel regions closer into its own orbit.

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Machester Derby – Epl’s Most important Match of the Season

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The Manchester derby today is arguably the most important match of the season as it will determine the comfort of Liverpool on the league table or the come back of Manchester City on top, while it also may determine the place of United in the European leagues next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits. A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club

Manchester United have Luke Shaw available after suspension but Phil Jones limped off during the defeat at Everton and is not expected to be fit.

Ander Herrera, who has been out for four weeks with a thigh injury, was not part of the squad which arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is City’s only other injury absentee

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