Planting forbidden literature on Jehovah's Witnesses widespread


ReligioPolis, 31 July 2016


According to a report of the press service of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, in the evening of 28 July, during worship services, personnel of the power structures of the Russian federation organized an attack on religious organizations.


The brutal violent action against believers was conducted in two cities of the republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk and Kostomuksha. Specifically, in Petrozavodsk, during a service, personnel of special forces armed with automatic weapons—including  FSB agents and a group of OMON—burst into the premises of Jehovah's Witnesses.


"Telephones and other electronic equipment were seized from the congregation," the press service reports. "Several of the believers were thrown roughly to the floor, pinned by knees, and kicked. Believers were questioned and documents were checked. The final detainee was released well after midnight. Several published materials that are included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials were planted."


Personnel that arrived at the house of worship in Kostomuksha planted two copies of printed materials included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials, as well as something unusual—the original of the passport of a man who had not attended Jehovah's Witnesses' services, but whose relatives had been known to speak out previously against the religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The reason for planting this document is unknown.


According to the testimony of the religious organization, planting forbidden literature has become "a widespread practice of malevolent personnel of law enforcement agencies. The 'discovered' materials serve as grounds for opening administrative cases with the aim of subsequent liquidation of a registered congregation and of ruling it to be 'extremist.'" (tr. by PDS, posted 2 August 2016)

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