In Nizhny Novgorod, police and FSB officers conducted 31 searches of members of a religious organization and instituted 5 criminal cases, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the region reports. According to an Interfax source, we are talking about followers of the local organization Jehovah’s Witnesses (recognized as extremist and banned in Russia).
According to investigators, the community’s leaders were nine residents of the Nizhny Novgorod region aged 23 to 52 years old, among them two women. Appeals cases are suspected of creating and participating in the activities of an extremist organization (part 1 and part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code).
Investigators believe that believers “propagandized their superiority over other citizens, conducted secret gatherings with the aim of developing action plans and studying extremist ideology, and conducted work on recruiting new members of the organization.” In addition, the investigation found that they encouraged new followers to “break family and family relations, the non-recognition of public authorities.”
The police say that extremist religious literature, computers, CDs and telephones were seized from believers during searches. According to Interfax, all nine were elected as a preventive measure in the form of a ban on certain actions.
In February, a resident of the town of Vyksa, Nizhny Novgorod Region, was arrested for seven days on charges of distributing the literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A report was made on the man for storing and distributing literature from the federal list of prohibited extremist materials.