MOSCOW, February 10 (RAPSI) – A criminal case has been opened over operation in north Moscow of a cell of the Jehovah’s Witnesses  religious organization banned in Russia, RAPSI has learnt from the press service of the Investigative Committee’s Moscow Main Investigations Directorate.

According to the investigation, a group of people aware of the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization created a cell of the religious group in a safe flat in north Moscow in 2017. The Jehovah’s Witnesses adepts studied propagating literature and committed other actions peculiar to the community. Moreover, they held online gatherings there, the statement reads.

Investigators conduct searches at the premises of the alleged cell members.

In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. In August, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses was added to the list of banned extremist organizations.

Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.

Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.