Russian authorities conduct another typical intervention with Jehovah's Witnesses


Official website of Investigative Committee of Russia for Lipetsk oblast, 16 November 2020


An investigator of the first department for investigation of especially important cases of the investigation department of the Investigative Committee of Russia [S.K.R.] for Lipetsk oblast opened five criminal cases against local residents, ranging in age from 42 to 67, on the basis of materials provided by the directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs [M.V.D.] and the directorate of the F.S.B. of Russia for Lipetsk oblast. Depending upon the degree of the participation of each one, they are suspected of committing the crimes stated in part 1 of article 282.2 and part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the RF (arranging and participating in activity of an extremist organization).


Within a period not established by the investigation, but no later than 22 January 2020 and going to 15 November 2020, the suspects, who were active members of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Lipetsk, which is a part of the structure of the religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia," and which was ruled to be extremist and liquidated on the basis of a decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 29 April 2017 that has taken legal effect, undertook deliberate actions of an organizational nature aimed at continuation of the aforesaid illegal activity on the territory of Lipetsk oblast, expressed in the convening of meetings, arranging of religious performances and worship services at said meetings, conducting of preaching [i.e., evangelistic—tr.] activity, and recruiting of new adherents. During meetings, the suspects discussed with those who attended religious intolerance toward representatives of other confessions, described the superiority of the teachings of said organization over other religions, studied literature that has been included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials, and conducted collection of funds for financing this organization.


Investigators of the investigation department of the S.K.R. for Lipetsk oblast, with the cooperation of personnel of the M.V.D. and F.S.B. of Russia for Lipetsk oblast, and with armed support from operatives of OMON troops of the Russian Guard of Lipetsk oblast, conducted nine searches, during which a substantial quantity of literature that has been banned for distribution on Russian territory was confiscated along with other documents and objects having significance for investigation of the criminal case, including electronic media, and they questioned witnesses and carried out other investigations and procedural actions.


At the present time, the suspects are in custody, and in the near future it will be decided which measures of restriction and what charges on the basis of part 1 of article 282.2 and part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF will be chosen for them.


The investigation of the criminal case is continuing. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 November 2020)

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