Gunmen search for weapons and extremist tracts in Kingdom Hall


ReligioPolis, 25 October 2016


On Sunday, 23 October 2016, personnel of law enforcement agencies disrupted a Sunday worship service in the building of Jehovah's Witnesses in Snezhnogorsk of Murmansk province. The siloviki burst into the house of worship in search of weapons and extremist publications.


According to a report from the press service of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, another raid by personnel of law enforcement agencies on a religious organization was, as always, unscheduled and not justified by anything. Armed people burst into the Kingdom Hall at a time when a prayer meeting of believers was being conducted there, although this time the siloviki did not break down doors. Claiming that they had received some kind of anonymous "report" and, as usual, not presenting any documents as justification for their intended search, the gunmen forced believers, with threats, to open the premises and they spread out inside the building of the religious organization.


During the search it became clear that the objects of the search, as always, were "extremist" religious literature, as determined by the "Ministry of Justice's list," and weapons that supposedly were located in the building.


As a result of this event, law enforcers, as usual, planted on the believers several "extremist brochures" they had brought with them and seized from the worshippers a laptop by means of which religious music was reproduced during the worship service. Nevertheless, this time the hopes of believers that a plant of a weapon was less likely were justified: the "inspectors" did not find weapons. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 October 2016)

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