LAW ENFORCEMENT SEARCHES HOMES OF FOUR JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FAMILIES IN PENZA OBLAST
Za prava cheloveka, 13 October 2020
On 11 October, in Penza oblast, searches were conducted in the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses (an organization ruled to be extremist in the R.F.). As reported on the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia website, armed security agents invaded the homes of at least four families of believers, who live in the city of Nikolsk, 100 kilometers from Penza. During the searches, electronic equipment and religious literature were confiscated. It is known that one man was arrested; he is 60-year-old Yury Kim.
A warrant for search was issued on 7 October by the Pervomaisk district court of Penza on the basis of a criminal case that had been opened. In one of the families of believers, a married couple was subjected to interrogation, which lasted 2.5 hours. A criminal case based on part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (creating an extremist community) was opened against the detainee Yury Kim. The preventive measure chosen for the man was a signed undertaking not to leave place of residence. Details are being clarified.
Earlier, the Penza oblast court mitigated the sentence of Jehovah's Witness Vladimir Alushkin, replacing for him six years of real time to four years of a suspended sentence. At the same time, the court left in force the verdict of his fellow believers: two years suspended.
We recall that on 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is an extremist organization and liquidated it and banned its activity on the territory of the Russian Federation. After this all organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses active in Russia were considered forbidden. A wave of repressions began against adherents of this religious organization. As of the present time, the number of believers in whose homes searches have been conducted because of suspicion of the activity of an extremist organization has reached 1141. Criminal cases have been opened against 388 persons on the basis of the "extremism" article (article 282 CC RF), 35 persons are in a SIZO, and 10 have been convicted and received real prison time. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 October 2020)
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