Mass arrests of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Dagestan

The FSB has detained representatives of 15 communities of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Dagestan. They are accused of extremist activity (Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), reports.

A large number of “propaganda items” have been seized from community members, law enforcement officials say. According to the FSB, “for several years, members of the community carried out secret meetings to study extremist literature and coordinate activities to disseminate the ideology of the organization.”

The exact number of people the special services detained on this case is not reported.

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international religious organization with millions of adherents around the world. Jehovah’s Witnesses conduct their activities in most countries of the world. At the same time, in some countries their activity is restricted or banned (among them China, Russia, Vietnam and some Islamic countries).
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses organization was recognized as an extremist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in 2017. Its activity in Russia is prohibited. Human rights activists believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted solely for their religious beliefs and have repeatedly demanded that political repression against the organization be stopped.