Радио Свобода – 8th November 2018
Searches in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses carried out in Krasnoyarsk
In Krasnoyarsk, law enforcement officers searched dozens of houses inhabited by alleged followers of a religious organization banned in Russia by Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is reported on the organization’s website. According to her, citizens, including phones, tablets and computers were seized. Many were taken to interrogations during which, allegedly, the police demanded that people testify against their co-religionists under the threat of criminal prosecution.
The searches took place in the framework of the criminal case against Andrei Stupnikov, who is accused of organizing the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses – an organization that in April last year the Supreme Court declared extremist. It was eliminated and banned in Russia. At the same time, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a worldwide religious organization with millions of followers.
Earlier, the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights criticized accusations against citizens for “reading the Bible together and praying to God.” According to the Council, this interpretation is contrary to the legal position of the Supreme Court and the government. International human rights organizations also appealed to the Russian authorities to stop the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the US authorities condemned the repression against them.
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