COURT IMPRISONS TWO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN OREL
Orlovskie Novosti, 12 December 2020
A court authorized the detention for a period of two months of two adherents of the "Jehovah's Witnesses Orel" organization, which was earlier ruled to be extremist and forbidden in Russia, the press service of the investigation department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Orel oblast reported.
According to information of Orlovskie Novosti, the subject is Vladimir Melnik, who had been, before the official liquidation of the organization by a court decision, the chairman of its committee; the subject under discussion is also Vladimir Piskarev. A third suspect in the case, Artur Putintsev, was not sent to the SIZO; the court extended the period of his detention by 72 hours.
The opening of a new case against Orel adherents of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses became known on 9 December. Melnik, Piskarev, and Putintsev were charged with reviving the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 of the C.C.). In particular, the investigation posits that the suspects continued to organize and lead meetings of Jehovists.
The "Jehovah's Witnesses Orel" religious organization was banned by a court in 2016. A year later, the F.S.B. arrested in Orel a Danish citizen, Dennis Christensen, who was considered its leader. A court sentenced him to six years in a penal colony. Yet another resident of Orel, Sergei Skrynnikov, was fined by a court 350 thousand rubles for participating in the organization. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 December 2020)
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ADHERENTS IN OREL PLACED IN CUSTODY
Investigation conducted with operational assistance of F.S.B. and M.V.D. personnel
TASS, 11 December 2020
A court has selected a measure of restriction in the form of confinement in custody for two adherents of Jehovah's Witnesses, an extremist organization banned in Russia; the period of detention was extended by 72 hours for a third adherent. This was reported to journalists at the press service of the investigation department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Orel oblast.
"The court granted the petition of the investigator, who was supported by the prosecution, and it selected a measure of restriction in the form of confinement in custody for two adherents of the extremist organization of Orel Jehovah's Witnesses, which is forbidden in the Russian Federation. And the period in detention was extended by 72 hours for a third adherent. All three are suspected by the investigation of committing the crime under the 'Arranging the activity of an extremist organization' article of the Criminal Code of the R.F.," the report says.
It was reported earlier that the suspects were members of the council of elders of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization in Orel. From extremist motivations, they convened meetings where doctrine was promoted and their agenda was formulated. The investigation was conducted with operational support of personnel of the F.S.B. and M.V.D. directorates. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 December 2020)
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