NEW SEARCHES IN BELIEVERS' HOMES IN MURMANSK OBLAST
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 6 December 2018
On 23 November 2018 in the city of Polyarny (Murmansk oblast) searches were conducted in residences of two citizens who are suspected of professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. In one case the searches in their home was observed by minor children.
During the searches in citizens' homes, a copy of the Bible in the translation by Orthodox Archimandrite Makary, a New Testament in the church translation, a scholarly monograph in religious studies, and also notebooks, personal notes, a cell phone, a computer, flash drives, and tablets were confiscated.
In April 2018, during harsh assaults on seven apartments belonging to citizens who were considered to be Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov were arrested. After 176 days in a SIZO they were transferred to house arrest. According to the account of the investigation, they conducted worship services which were interpreted as "planning the activity of an extremist organization" (citing the decision of the Russian Supreme Court concerning the liquidation of all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses). Believers view the actions of law enforcement personnel as a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of religious confession. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 December 2018)
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