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Russia Religion News (03.06.2019) –– On 3 June 2019, the Soviet district court of Makhachkala sent to the SIZO for two months 40-year-old Arsen Abdullaev, 38-year-old Maria Karpova, 34-year-old Anton Dergalev, and 27-year-old Marat Abdulgalimov. Two days earlier, on 1 June 2019, in Makhachkala, Kaspiisk, Kizliar and Derbent, personnel of the FSB in masks and bullet-proof vests and armed with automatic weapons burst into approximately ten homes of law-abiding local residents, who are accused of professing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.


During the invasion into the apartment of the Abdullaevs, troops forced the head of the family onto the floor, face down, and his wife and son were blockaded in a room. They were informed of the warrant for the search and in the corridor two brochures of religious contents, which somebody from the raiding party had planted, were “discovered.” After this, without being allowed to take food, Arsen and his wife, Suat, were taken for interrogation in the E [“Extremism”] Center and later to the republican directorate of the FSB, where they were interrogated until the evening. The operation was directed by an FSB investigator who was called Ivan Emelianov.


During questioning, the married couple was informed orally that they both were suspected under the article on “planning the activity of an extremist organization,” Arsen as the “organizer,” and Suat as a “participant.” The investigator suggested to Arsen that he acknowledge his guilt, but when the latter said that he had nothing to acknowledge, the investigator declared: “Then there will consequences.” After this, Arsen was placed in detention.


Dagestan has become the 39th region of Russia where similar criminal cases have been initiated against Jehovah’s Witnesses. . . .

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