More than ten criminal cases of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russian-occupied Crimea


by Alexander Dremligin

Kommersant, 17 August 2021


The leader of the Yalta cell of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, who are banned in Russia, was arrested in Belgorod oblast while trying to cross the state border, Kommersant was told at the S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] for Crimea and Sevastopol. The name of the detainee has not been disclosed. The Kiev district court of Simferopol placed him in custody.


The man, who is on the federal wanted list, was arrested at the Nekhoteevka checkpoint. "In March of this year, he left the territory of the peninsula, fleeing from law enforcement agencies, and he was placed on the federal wanted list. The detainee is charged with arranging the activity of an extremist community (part 1, article 282.2 of CC RF)," the S.K.R. specified.


According to security officials, the Yalta cell of Jehovists has operated underground since July 2017 until March of this year, conducting propaganda meetings and distributing funds for the needs of the congregation. The majority of members of this organization had been arrested previously and held criminally accountable. In all, law enforcement noted, there are five subjects in this criminal case. Another member of the cell is on the wanted list.


We recall, in March it was reported on the peninsula that another of the founders of the Yalta cell of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is forbidden in Russia, Taras Kuzko, was arrested on suspicion of financing extremist activity.


Since 2017, more than ten criminal cases against the banned organization of Jehovah's Witnesses have been opened in the region. Criminal prosecution of its adherents have been conducted in Yalta, Dzhankoy, Sevastopol, Kerch, and other cities of the peninsula. (tr. by PDS, posted 17 August 2021)

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