Investigation completed in criminal case against organizer and members of Jehovah’s witnesses extremist organization
Russia Religion News (01.07.2019) – https://bit.ly/2XI1NQk – The first department for investigation of especially serious cases of the district Investigative Committee (S.K.R.) has completed the investigation of a criminal case on the charge against a resident of Penza (born 1964) based on part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (arranging the activity of an extremist organization) and against five persons based on part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (participation in the activity of an extremist organization). The criminal case was investigated with the cooperation of personnel of the regional Investigative Committee and the Center for Combating Extremism of the directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Penza oblast.
According to the investigation, a resident of Penza (born 1964), who knew reliably that the local religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Arbekovo. Penza,” had been ruled to be extremist in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 20 April 2017, which has taken legal effect, and that its activity had been banned and the organization itself was supposed to be liquidated, from July 2017 to July 2018 undertook active steps of an organizational character intended to continue the illegal activity of the aforementioned religious cell. He arranged meetings, religious speeches and worship services, collection of financial means in the form of donations (more than 131 thousand rubles were collected), involved members in its activity, and carried out the disposition of the organization’s property. This organization preached the superiority of adherents of the religious teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses over other persons and a negative assessment of persons who are not adherents of this teaching, encouraged the breaking off of kinship and familial relations with them, urged the refusal of medical intervention including urgent indicators for removing threats to human life, and the non-recognition of bodies of government and local administration. The religious organization carried out its activity using conspiratorial measures.
Five residents of Penza (three men and two women), from 35 to 55 years of age, participated in the activity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses extremist organization, undertaking active steps aimed at the continuation of its illegal activity: they participated in religious meetings and a congress, provided their residences for conducting religious events, and engaged in preaching activity.
During the course of the investigation, the organizer and three members of the extremist organization were under house arrest, by court order, and another two members received a measure of restriction not involving limitation of liberty.
At the present time, the criminal case with an indictment approved by an associate prosecutor of the oblast has been sent to a court for consideration on the merits.