Another raid on Jehovah's Witnesses' homes


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 9 February 2018


On 7 February 2018, siloviki in Belgorod conducted a raid on homes of Jehovah's Witnesses. Two believers were arrested as suspects in a criminal case.


On 9 February 2018 it became known that in Belgorod a criminal case has been opened on the basis of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (planning the activity of an extremist organization) in connection with the work of the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.


According to a report from the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, in the evening of 7 February police and a SOBR [Special Rapid Response Unit] conducted searches in no fewer than 16 residences of believers. Bibles, electronic equipment and data storage devices, travel passports, money and in some cases photographs were seized from them. They themselves were taken to the building of the Investigation Directorate of the Russian Directorate of MID for Belgorod oblast, they were fingerprinted, and they were given summons for interrogation. Two citizens, Anatoly Shaliapin and Sergei Voikov, were detained as suspects in the case. . . .


From our point of view, the liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses organizations for extremism and prosecution of the members of their congregations do not have legal bases and are a clear manifestation of religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 February 2018)

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