2020-02-10 19:57:00

Criminal case opened in Transbaikal Territory after searches of residences of suspected Jehovah's Witnesses

Chita, February 10, Interfax - Operatives on Monday searched the residences of suspected members of the extremist organization Jehovah's Witnesses, banned in Russia, in Russia's Transbaikal Territory.

"Investigators from the regional investigative directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee, in cooperation with the Federal Security Service and police officials with support from the Russian Guard, searched the residences of possible members of the extremist organization Jehovah's Witnesses. More than 30 investigative-operative groups were formed for this, which worked simultaneously in Chita and the territory's districts," the territory's Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee said.

According to investigators, the religious organization has functioned on the territory of Chita and several districts of the Transbaikal Territory for several years. Operatives believe its members continued to hold meetings and give religious speeches, collect donations, and hold public sermons after the organization was banned.

A criminal case has been opened based on the article of the Russian Criminal Code concerning "the organization of the activities of an extremist organization."

The Russian Supreme Court on April 20, 2017, granted the Russian Justice Ministry's lawsuit, ruling that the Jehovah's Witnesses is an extremist organization and banning its activities on the territory of Russia. The Appeals Collegium of the Supreme Court upheld this decision on July 17, 2017.