Jehovah's Witnesses case renewed in Moscow


Mediazona, 10 February 2021


Personnel of the Investigative Committee of Russia [S.K.R.], the F.S.B., and National Guard are conducting searches in Moscow at 16 addresses within the context of a case about the organization of a division of the Jehovah's Witnesses (parts 1 and 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code). This was reported on the website of the main directorate of the S.K.R.


The bureau maintains that the believers, after the ban of the organization in 2017, conducted meetings and studied religious literature in an apartment on Dybenko Street in the northern district of Moscow, and also "conducted online meetings by video links."


Several persons have been detained for questioning. The S.K.R. says that these are the "organizers and members" of the branch.


The European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses told Mediazona that the searches were conducted in the morning in the north of Moscow, in the Khovrin and Levobereg districts and also in Khimki and Chekhov.


In November 2020, searches were conducted in the homes of adherents of the Jehovah's Witnesses in northeast Moscow. The believers complained about brutal arrests, threats, and disrespect on the part of security forces. They said that one person was struck on the head with the butt of an automatic rifle. The court refused to detain them and placed all of the suspects under house arrest.


In 2017, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that the Jehovah's Witnesses are an extremist organization and it banned its activity in the country. After this, hundreds of believers became subjects in criminal cases. (tr. by PDS, posted 10 February 2021)




Organizers and members of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization (banned in the R.F.) were arrested in Moscow.


This was described by a representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia [S.K.R.] for Moscow, Yulia Ivanova.


She said that investigators of the S.K.R. along with police, Russian Guardsmen, and F.S.B. agents are conducting searches at 16 addresses of residences of the detainees in the capital.


Ivanova emphasized that the investigation division of the S.K.R. for the northern administrative district of Moscow opened a criminal case based on the article for "arranging the activity of an extremist organization," noting that since September 2017 to the present, underground activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses has been going on.


She declared that, in particular, in one apartment on Dybenko Street, adherents of the sect have illegally obtained religious literature and the organizers have conducted meetings with their devotees by video links.


On 20 April 2017, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and all member local religious organizations of its structure are extremist organizations and it banned the activity on the territory of the country. (tr. by PDS, posted 10 February 2021)

Related article:
Court keeps case of "Moscow Five" Jehovah's Witnesses open
January 21, 2021

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