The Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation. Photo by Yelena Sineok,

13 April 2024, 22:07

Investigators report on new criminal cases against Jehovah's Witnesses* from Cherkessk

An investigation has been launched into the criminal cases initiated against a Jehovah's Witness* from Cherkessk for his involvement in the activities of an extremist organization. He is also charged with organizing the work of a local believers' community, investigators have reported.

According to their version, the 37-year-old suspect had convinced others of the need to accept the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses*; he organized meetings and worship services. In particular, he convinced his female acquaintance to join Jehovah's Witnesses*.

Earlier, he was accused of organizing the activities of an extremist organization, and the court placed him into custody. The new criminal cases have been combined with the earlier initiated ones.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 28, human rights defenders announced Vladimir Fomin, a Jehovah's Witness* from Cherkessk, as a political prisoner; the court placed him in custody under an extremist case, despite his disability.

Investigators treat talks on biblical topics as a crime, although this is not treated as extremism in any country where Jehovah's Witnesses* are operating, Yaroslav Sivulsky, a representative of the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses*, has stated, adding: "Moreover, Article 28 of the Russian Constitution states: 'Everyone is guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion ... to freely choose and disseminate religious and other beliefs."

*396 Russian organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses are recognized as extremist, and their activities in Russia are banned by court's decision.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 12, 2024 at 06:17 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: Caucasian Knot

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