Court keeps case of "Moscow Five" Jehovah's Witnesses open


Interfax-Religiia, 21 January 2021


The Presnya court of Moscow extended the period of restriction under house arrest for adherents of the movement of Jehovah's Witnesses (forbidden in the R.F.)


"The court satisfied the petition of the investigation for extending the period of restriction under guard with respect to Shatalov, Komarov, Chaikovsky, and Chernyshev until 23 April 2021, and for Zakarian, house arrest also was extended to 22 April 2021," the press service of the court told Interfax on Thursday.


As was reported, in late November of last year, the Presnya court of Moscow refused to satisfy the petition of the investigation concerning the measure of restriction chosen for them in the form of detention in custody and it placed the suspects under house arrest.


All of them are charged under part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (arranging the activity of a public or religious association for which a court has made a decision to liquidate or forbid the activity because of conducting extremist activity). The punishment under such an accusation provides for large fines, compulsory labor, or imprisonment for up to ten years.


The arrest of several leaders of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia was reported in November of last year in the directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (S.K.R.) for Moscow.


According to the account of the investigation, in the period from June 2019 to the present, the group of persons, while aware that the decision of the Supreme Court had taken legal effect, organized in north-east Moscow the work of a local religious subdivision of the aforementioned organization.


"Conspiratorial gatherings were conducted in an apartment located on Cheliuskinskaya Street, where the devotees studied religious literature and information contained in other sources of information, promoting the teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses, and they conducted other activities typical for the aforesaid association," a representative of the capital S.K.R., Julia Ivanova, said earlier.


Also, she said, it was established that the members of the subdivision persuaded and recruited new members from among residents of the capital and other regions for participation in the forbidden religious movement.


The detainees do not acknowledge their guilt, (tr. by PDS, posted 23 January 2021)

Background articles:
Moscow court sends Jehovah's Witnesses prisoner home
November 30, 2020

Russian court releases Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow
November 27, 2020
Jehovah's Witnesses avoid threatened pretrial imprisonment
November 26, 2020
Major law enforcement move against Jehovah's Witnesses based on Moscow
November 24, 2020

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