New case opened against Jehovah's Witness in Cheliabinsk


Interfax-Religiia, 8 September 2021


A criminal case has been opened against a resident of Cheliabinsk oblast who is suspected of arranging the activity of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is forbidden in Russia, the press service of the regional investigation department of the S.K.R. reports.


According to information of the investigation, the suspect is an "elder" who exercised supervision of and actively participated in activity of local Jehovists in the region during the period from September 2017 to November 2020. In particular, he organized preaching discussions and promoted the teaching of the Jehovists.


"Meetings were conducted in the form of collective religious worship services, consisting of routinely sung songs from a special handbook of religious teaching and the study and discussion of articles and religious literature which contain statements demeaning human dignity on the basis of attitude toward religion and elements of propaganda of the exclusivity of one religion vis-à-vis another," the report says.


It is noted that the preacher's activity was terminated by personnel of the chief directorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for Cheliabinsk oblast, He is suspected of the crime based on part 1 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the R.F. (arranging the activity of an extremist organization).


The issue of the selection of a measure of restriction and filing charges is being resolved.


Earlier it was reported that in April of this year a criminal case was opened against a resident of Cheliabinsk, who also was suspected of arranging the activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses within the oblast between September 2017 and March 2019. The S.K.R. investigation department clarified for Interfax that this is a new case regarding a different suspect.


"The detainee conducted his activity throughout the oblast, including on the territory of the 'closed' city of Snezhinsk," a staff member of the department noted. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 8 September 2021)

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