THREE LEADERS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CELLS ARRESTED IN KURGAN OBLAST
Interfax-Religiia, 15 July 2021
Kurgan officers of law enforcement agencies arrested three leaders of local cells of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization, which is banned in Russia, the press service of the investigative bureau S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] for the region reported on Thursday.
According to information from the bureau, the three who were arrested in Shadrinsk and Kurgan were part of the structure of the “Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” which was liquidated as an extremist religious organization. All three were effectively directors of local religious cells.
The detainees are suspects on the basis of part 1 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (arranging the activity of an extremist organization). The issue of their detention is currently being resolved.
It has been established that since 2017 they have been conducting meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kurgan, Shadrinsk, and districts of Kurgan oblast for which more than 130 persons have been drawn into participation.
Investigators worked together with police and agents of the regional directorate of the F.S.B. and the Russian Guard to conduct more than 30 searches in residences of the detainees and their supporters. Forbidden literature, computers, electronic media, and communication devices were confiscated. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 July 2021)
LEADERS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ARRESTED IN KURGAN OBLAST
Izvestiia, 15 July 2021
In Kurgan oblast, leaders of local cells of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization (banned in Russia) were arrested because of extremist activity that they carried out. This was reported in the press service of the Investigative Committee on 15 July.
“Criminal cases were opened by investigation agencies of the Russian Investigative Committee for Kurgan oblast [. . .] regarding three founders of local religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Shadrinsk and Kurgan, which are part of the structure of the liquidated extremist religious organization ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,’” the report says.
It was noted that the founders of the cells are suspected of arranging the activity of an extremist organization (part 1, article 282.2 CC RF).
It was established that, by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, on 20 April 2017, the religious organization “Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia” and local religious organizations in Kurgan, Shadrinsk, and districts of Kurgan oblast that were a part of its structure were liquidated because they carried out extremist activity.
Despite the court’s decision, since 2017 and to the present time, the detainees arranged in Kurgan, Shadrinsk, and districts of Kurgan oblast meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses that involved more than 130 residents of the oblast who were drawn into them.
More than 30 searches have been conducted in places of residence of the organizers and supporters of the organization on the territory of Kurgan oblast.
At the present time, they are being detained and have been charged with committing a serious crime.
Earlier, on 27 May, in Barnaul, members of a cell of the extremist organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is banned in Russia, were arrested. It was explained that members of the sect met in the homes of one another. They also conducted meetings by means of applications for video conferencing.
On 4 May in Kuzbass, the leader of a division of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was arrested. A criminal case was opened based on part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (“Arranging the activity of a religious association or other organization, with respect to which a court made a decision that has taken legal effect regarding its liquidation because of the conduct of extremist activity”). (tr. by PDS, posted 15 July 2021)
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