Murmansk, December 30, Interfax - Officials from the directorates of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service have shut down the activities of the extremist organization Jehovah's Witnesses in Murmansk.
A criminal case has been opened on the basis of the article dealing with the organization of activities of a religious association in relation to which a court ruling is in legal force ordering its closure due to extremist activities, the press service for the Investigative Committee's directorate in the Murmansk Region said in a statement.
The Russian Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2017 closing the religious organization Jehovah's Witnesses Management Center in Russia, including its local religious organizations, including in Murmansk, the statement said.
However, Jehovah's Witnesses have continued their activities in Murmansk until now; they have been organizing meetings and sermons, distributing religious literature, and involving new people in their community.
"Investigators from the Investigative Committee, supported by officials from the Federal Security Service's Directorate for the Murmansk Region, conducted searches at five addresses on the territory of Murmansk to seize documents and objects relevant to the criminal case and determine people involved in illegal activities," the statement said.
A large amount of literature and electronic media was seized as a result. Investigators have also determined a range of people who attended and organized meetings.
Investigative and operational search activities are now being conducted as part of the investigation.