More than a year since the government enforced law against Russian Jehovah Witnesses, labeling the group as an “Extremist Organisation”, some Jehovah’s Witnesses have been arrested by the Russian authorities for holding service
A husband, his wife and their female acquaintance from the town of Yelizovo were arrested and detained, according to The Moscow Times.
Their crime - being suspected of organizing Jehovah’s Witnesses activities in spite of the ban on the religious group.
Local investigators say that they were detained after a raid that happened during a worship service being held at the residences of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “main members.”
There, the police found “extremist” literature, handwritten notes e.t.c which resulted in an open case against them.
In a statement, the Kamchatka Investigative Committee said, “Immediately after launching the criminal case, searches with support from the Kamchatka region National Guard’s OMON riot police were carried out at two apartments in the town of Yelizovo.”
These three Jehovah’s Witnesses have been placed in a pretrial detention for “committing a crime linked to extremism,” by participating in the activities of “a banned religious organization.” They could be imprisoned for up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
According to the Moscow-based Memorial human rights center, at least 29 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been detained on criminal charges since the Supreme Court’s ruling in April 2017. This has made those practising the to relocate to Finland and other European countries.
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