2019-02-07 10:27:00

Criminal case opened against Jehovah's Witnesses followers in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District

Khanty-Mansiysk, February 7, Interfax - Law enforcement agencies in the town of Urai, Russia's Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District have detained members of the Jehovah's Witnesses religions organization, which is banned in Russia, the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry's local branch said on Thursday.

It has been established that a Jehovah's Witnesses cell was set up in Urai in July 2017.

"Adherents of this organization highlighted their superiority over other citizens who are not Jehovah's Witnesses followers. Members of this extremist organization held secret meetings in order to work out action plans and study the extremist ideology," it said.

Besides, the adherents recruited new Jehovah's Witnesses members among residents of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District, prompting them to break away from their family and stop to recognize the authorities.

Law enforcers conducted searches at the places of residence and work of the organization's members and seized extremist literature, computers, cell phones, and other items relevant to the investigation. A criminal case has been opened against them.

The press service, however, declined to tell Interfax how many people have been detained.

The Russian Supreme Court ordered on April 20, 2017 that the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and its local religious organizations be shut down due to their extremist activities, banning their functioning in Russian territory, the press service said.