27 January 2020, 12:03
Court bans leader of Murmansk Jehovah's Witnesses from talking to fellow members, using Internet
Murmansk, January 27, Interfax - The Murmansk Oktyabrsky District Court has imposed restrictions on the leader of the Jehovah's Witnesses - Tsentralnaya, Murmansk (the Jehovah's Witnesses is a religious organization which is banned in Russia), the court press service said.
The Murmansk resident is implicated in a criminal case involving organization of the activities of a religious organization on which there is a court ruling in legal force for its closure due to extremist activities.
The court said the leader of Murmansk's Jehovah's Witnesses branch disagrees with the investigators and insists that "the Supreme Court ruling prohibits a specific organization, not religious services."
The court has banned the man from taking specific actions. The court said the man is prohibited from talking to specific persons and using communication devices and the Internet.
The Polyarny District Court of the Murmansk region earlier convicted two local residents who continued their activities after the court had ruled that the extremist association the Jehovah's Witnesses be closed. They were fined 350,000 rubles and 300,000 rubles.
According to earlier reports, the head of the prohibited local religious organization Jehovah's Witnesses - Tsentralnaya, Murmansk was detained in Murmansk on January 22, 2020.
The Investigative Committee said the 40-year-old man had been detained in connection with an investigation into an earlier opened criminal case involving the organization of the activities of a religious organization on which there is a court ruling in legal force for its closure due to extremist activities.
In December 2019, officials from the Investigative Committee and Federal Security Service directorates stopped the activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Murmansk.
Searches were conducted simultaneously at five addresses in Murmansk "to seize documents and objects relevant to the criminal case, as well as to identify persons involved in illegal activities," the Investigative Committee said.
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