Detention of Jehovah's Witnesses enters a new region


Yaroslavl Moskovskii Komsomolets, 13 April 2021


Two men, ages 45 and 55, were arrested in Yaroslavl. The detainees are suspected of having organized a religious community of Jehovah' Witnesses of the city of Yaroslavl in 2019. The activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect is forbidden on the territory of the Russian Federation and is considered extremist.


The investigation possesses information on how the detainees conducted intense agitation activity, in person and via the internet, drawing new adepts into the community.


Forces of a joint group of the departments of F.S.B. and M.V.D. for Yaroslavl oblast managed to expose the criminal activity. The group includes experienced sect-scholars.


In the morning of 13 April, searches were conducted in 31 apartments of devotees of the forbidden organization. The regional department of the S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] contributed to the investigation of the circumstances and assembly of an evidentiary base. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 April 2021)



by Yulia Tarkovskaia, Yulia Polushina

7x7 Journal, 13 April 2021


The Investigative Committee of Yaroslavl oblast, accompanied by Russian F.S.B., police, and Russian Guards, on 13 April conducted 31 searches among the Jehovah's Witnesses and opened a criminal case based on article 282.2 of the CC RF ("Arranging the activity of an extremist organization"), the website of the bureau reports.


According to information of the investigation, in 2019 the suspects organized in the city of Yaroslavl the activity of a community of Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Yaroslavl, which is a constituent part of the organization of the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia."


According to preliminary information, the activity of the organization in Yaroslavl was directed by two men (45 and 50 years old); their names have not been disclosed. They conducted numerous meetings and promoted forbidden teachings.


The Investigative Committee, along with the Russian F.S.B., police, and Russian Guards in the morning of 13 April searched 31 residential and nonresidential premises. The subjects of the case were taken away for questioning.


Update 14 April: According to information of the press service of the organization, law enforcement arrested and placed in a prison cell 45-year-old Andrei Viushin.


"Andri Viushin has a five-year-old child and an invalid Mama. She cannot move without assistance from others. What are security agents punishing them for? For the fact that the head of the family read the Bible and prayed. And this is happening despite explanations by the authorities to the effect that the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses is not forbidden," said Yaroslav Sivulsky, a representative of the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses.


This is the first instance of a criminal prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Yaroslavl oblast since the decision by the Russian Supreme Court for the liquidation of the legal entities of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 April 2021)



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