Jehovah's Witnesses charged with crime of financing extremism


Vremya Birobidzhana, 5 April 2019


Within the context of conducting operational search events, operatives of the Directorate of the Federal Security Service (UFSB) of Russia for the Jewish autonomous oblast discovered two residents of the city of Birobidzhan who are members of the liquidated local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses and who from April 2017 to May 2018 conducted a collection of finances from other members of the organization and used them for support of the activity of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia (of the city of Moscow [sic]) and the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Birobidzhan, which is subordinate to it. This was described for Vremya Birobidzhana in the press service of the agency.


The religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Birobidzhan was ruled by a decision of a court of the Jewish autonomous oblast of 3 October 2016 to be extremist and it was liquidated and removed from the register of legal entities.


The organization Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia was liquidated by a decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 20 April 2017 because of the conduct of extremist activity.


On the basis of the totality of materials of the operational search activity, the investigation agency of the UFSB of Russia for the Jewish autonomous oblast opened criminal cases under part 1 of article 282.3 (financing an extremist organization) against the two residents of the Jewish autonomous oblast. Investigative actions are being conducted. For committing the aforesaid crime the prescribed penalty is incarceration for a term of up to eight years. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 April 2019)

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