Orenburg, February 17, Interfax - Orenburg's Leninsky District Court delivered a guilty verdict to four members of the banned pseudo-religious group Elle Ayat at a session on Monday, the court press service told reporters.
Depending on their role and degree of involvement in the sect, the actions of sect members were classified under the charge of creating a religious or non-governmental association, the activity of which involves violence against people or other harm to their health.
"The court sentenced one female defendant to two years in a penal colony with deprivation of the right to engage in activity related to health diagnosis and treatment of people for two years and six months," the statement said.
Three other defendants were relieved of any punishment "due to the expiration of the statutes of limitation of bringing them to criminal liability," it said.
As previously reported, citing investigators, Elle Ayat, which is banned in certain regions in Russia and Kazakhstan, has operated in the Orenburg Region since 2006.
Between May 2016 and August 2017, four Orenburg residents, who were members of the sect, set up centers, which propagated and professed "a harmful faith under the guise of so-called 'healing' of physical pain and psychological disorders," the Orenburg regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said.
At these centers, they carried out rites and held public seminars, at which "intentional destructive psychological pressure" was put on visitors.
This caused development of a mental disorder in one of the sect members, while another refused necessary medical treatment for "healing" via methods exercised by the sect that harmed his health.
Investigators said that followers of the sect held seminars twice a month, which were attended by between 50 and 100 people at the Orenburg State University and several other organizations.
Investigators filed petitions to the chiefs of these organizations in this regard.