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Primorye: Criminal Case and Arrests in Spassk-DalniyPrimorye Territory
On November 25, 2018, in the city of Spassk-Dalny (Primorye Territory), five people were detained and sent to an isolation ward in the wake of searches in the homes of citizens suspected of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. Two days later, 28-year-old Dmitry Malevan, 59-year-old Alexei Trofimov, 59-year-old Olga Panyuta and 66-year-old Olga Opaleva were placed under house arrest. One man was released without a preventive measure.
It is noteworthy that on November 13, 2 weeks before this happened in reality, the media, citing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Primorsky Territory, disseminated information about the arrest of 5 believers. It was also reported that a criminal case was initiated under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (organization of activities of an extremist organization).
Earlier, in Spassk-Dalny, an FSB operation took place to disrupt a friendly meeting. On the evening of August 12, 2018, at least 17 FSB officers invaded rented premises on Krasnoznamennaya Street in Spassk-Dalny (Primorsky Territory), where a friendly meeting was taking place with the participation of 28 people. Phones and tablets were seized from those present. Until late at night, citizens were asked questions under the protocol, for example: was the name "Jehovah" pronounced at the meeting? Was the Bible read in the New World Translation? The basis for these actions was the decision to conduct a number of operational-search activities "Inspection of premises, buildings, structures, terrain and vehicles", which was issued on August 10, 2018 by the acting head of the Service in the village of Kamen-Rybolov of the FSB of Russia in the Primorsky Territory. As a result, the rented premises were searched, as well as the houses and cars of several citizens.
Thus, a total of at least four criminal cases have been initiated in the Primorye Territory against citizens who are suspected of professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The case of Valentin Osadchuk is being investigated by the Investigative Department of the FSB of Russia in Vladivostok. The case of Dmitry Barmakin, who came to take care of his wife's sick mother, but instead ended up in a pre-trial detention center, is being investigated by the body of the Investigative Committee of Russia in the Pervorechensky district of Vladivostok. The case in the village of Razdolnoye (Primorsky Territory), during which a brutal military operation against civilians was carried out, is being investigated by the Investigative Department for the Nadezhdinsky District of the Investigative Committee of Russia. Law enforcement agencies across the country mistakenly interpret peaceful meetings of believers as "extremist activity." Dozens of human rights defenders, as well as the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation , expressed concern about the growing religious repression.