From Human Rights Watch by Melissa Samarin:
Last week, police near Norilsk, in northern Russia, raided a campsite where more than 50 Jehovah’s Witness followers had gathered to pray. It was the latest example of an escalating crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are targeted simply for practicing their faith.
…The officers loaded many worshippers into minivans and took them to the state criminal investigation agency in Norilsk, where they were interrogated for several hours about their religion, who the elders – or spiritual leaders – are, and where they hold their meetings. On the same day, law enforcement officers also searched at least five homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Norilsk, seizing bibles, tablets, and computers. Three days later, on October 23, the KrasnoyarskInvestigative Committee confirmed it had opened a criminal case against the leader of the local Jehovah’s Witness community.
In April 2017, Russia’s Supreme Court designated the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center an extremist organization, banning the group’s activities throughout the country and liquidating all 395 Jehovah’s Witnesses branches in Russia.Since then, the community has faced numerouswaves of raids, arrests, and interrogations. According to the Jehovah’s Witness organization, 275 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been or are under investigation, 44 are in detention, including some of the 10 who have been convicted on extremism charges, and another 25 are under house arrest. More than 700 of their homes have been raided by law enforcement officers.
Read this story here.