Human rights organization publicizes repression of Jehovah's Witnesses


Za prava cheloveka, 20 November 2020


On 18 November, law enforcement personnel arrived to search at homes of Jehovah's Witnesses (an organization ruled to be extremist in R.F.) living in the city of Nizhnekamsk in the republic of Tatarstan. On the website of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, details of what happened appeared.


Searches were conducted in 12 apartments of believers and their relatives. Minor-aged children living in several families became involuntary witnesses of the raids. In one apartment, with the shout "Do not move!," security troops pointed a weapon at a sleeping woman, and in another they threw a married couple to the floor, put handcuffs on the husband, and took him away for interrogation. During the searches, electronic equipment, foreign passports, bank cards, and personal notes were confiscated from Jehovah's Witnesses. Twelve persons were taken for interrogation. One of the believers was interrogated for 12 hours. We know one criminal case for extremism was opened.


Believers were accused of continuing the activity of a local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kazan. Agents of the F.S.B. for Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny participated in the investigation. Oleg Zorin, an agent of the Center for Combating Extremism for the republic of Tatarstan, participated in questioning.


We recall that on 20 April 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" was an extremist organization and liquidated it and banned its activity on the territory of the R.F. After this, all organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses active in Russia were considered to be forbidden. There began a wave of repression against adherents of this religious organization. At the present time, the number of believers in whose homes searches have been conducted because of suspicion of carrying out the activity of an extremist organization has grown to 1,197. Criminal cases have been opened for 405 persons on the basis of the "extremism" article (art. 282 of the CC RF), 39 persons are in pretrial investigation cells (SIZO), and ten have been convicted and got real-time prison terms. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 November 2020)

Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,