TWO LIPETSK JEHOVISTS SUSPECTED OF ARRANGING ACTIVITY OF EXTREMIST ORGANIZATION
by Alexander Prytkov
Kommersant, 2 June 2021
The directorate of the S.K.P. [Russian Investigative Committee] for Lipetsk oblast has opened a criminal case with respect to two organizers of a subdivision of the Jehovah's Witnesses (ruled in the R.F. to be extremist and forbidden). The agency noted that the subjects are suspected of arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1 of article 282.2 CC RF, up to ten years incarceration).
According to the account of the investigation, the suspects created in Griazi the work of a local subdivision of Jehovah's Witnesses. In particular, they conducted "conspiratorial meetings" using the internet and "they tutored new adherents in the ideology." "Under the guise of donations, the subjects collected financial resources, sending them for the development and technological equipment of the organization," the bureau added.
Searches were conducted in the Jehovists' homes and literature, "brochures with statements of the doctrine of the forbidden religious ideology," and "instructions for conspiratorial activities and for use during contacts with law enforcement agencies," which are forbidden to distribute in Russia, were confiscated.
The activity of the subjects was discovered as the result of investigative actions in the already existing proceedings of a criminal case in regard to five Jehovists. The two cases have been merged into one. (tr. by PDS, posted 2 June 2021)
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ARRESTED IN LIPETSK OBLAST
OVD-Info, 2 June 2021
In Griazi (Lipetsk oblast), two Jehovah's Witnesses, Alexander Popras and Valery Khmil, were arrested and placed in a temporary holding cell. They are charged with participating in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 CC). This is reported on the website "Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia."
A court hearing for selecting a measure of restriction for the believers was scheduled for 2 June.
Searches were also conducted in homes of another two Jehovah's Witnesses in Lipetsk oblast. Police officers arrested them, but later decided to release them. Electronic equipment and office technology were confiscated from one of them.
In November 2020 searches also were conducted in Jehovah's Witnesses homes. As a result, a case was opened with regard to five persons. Sergei Kretov and Evgeny Reshetnikov were charged with arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1, article 282.2 CC) and they were placed in custody. Natalia Perekataya, Tatiana Marlang, and Svetlana Vyreskovaya were charged with participating in the activity of said organization (part 2, article 282.2 CC). (tr. by PDS, posted 2 June 2021)
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