Abusive treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses detainees


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 5 July 2019


On 26 June 2019, 43-year-old believer Roman Makhnev was bound by handcuffs to a pipe in the FSB building in Kaluga and left in this position until the next morning. After a sleepless night he was subjected to investigative actions. Neither on the 26th, nor 27th, nor 28th was he given any food. Only on 29 June was he fed breakfast for the first time.


This happened as the result of a raid by agents of the UFSB of Russia for Kaluga oblast against believers. A total of six searches were conducted, including in the apartment of an 81-year-old woman. After Roman Makhnev told about the planting of forbidden literature in his home, he was taken to the FSB building instead of the temporary holding cell. Makhnev's 15-year-old daughter was taken outdoors and was forced to stand barefoot in the rain while the search was conducted in the home.


The atrocities done by the FSB were stubbornly ignored by the Kaluga district court. Thus on 28 June 2019, this court refused to evaluate the circumstances of the detention of believers. On the same day, the court selected a measure of restriction in the form of imprisonment for a period of two months for Roman Makhnev and also for 54-year-old Dmitry Kuzin. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 July 2019)



KalugaNews, 4 July 2019


On 26 June in Kaluga, the regional UFSB [Directorate of the Federal Security Service] of Russia for Kaluga oblast conducted widespread searches in local places of assembly of the religious structure of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is forbidden on the territory of the Russian Federation.


According to information of news media, during the special operation more than 50 copies of religious literature from the list of publications ruled to be extremist were confiscated, along with telephone, computer technology, and various data storage devices. A criminal case was opened regarding the activity of the Jehovists based on part 1 of article 282.2 of the CC RF.


According to information from public sources, the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses are in Brooklyn in the U.S.A. It is from there that the activity of all organizations and cells of the organization throughout the world are coordinated; these comprise about 8 million devotees (of which approximately 170,000 fall within Russia).


On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled the activity of the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" to be extremist, prohibiting it and all 395 divisions on Russian territory to function. That is, for more than two years now all activity of the Witnesses in Russia has been illegal. However, for more than two years now representatives of Jehovah's Witnesses gather in apartments, conduct worship services via the internet (Skype), and distribute and study literature ruled to be extremist.


Kaluga also did not escape the termination of the activity of the Witnesses, where they had felt themselves at ease. For more than two years they managed to continue their extremist activity with impunity.


Searches were conducted in the homes of two Jehovah's Witnesses activists, Roman Makhnev and Dmitry Kuzin, during which telephones, computers, electronic devices, and literature considered extremist were confiscated. And on 28 June, the Kaluga district court imprisoned them for two months and a case was opened on the basis of article 282.2 of the CCRF on a charge of continuing the activity of an extremist organizations. As a result of this, the two subjects in the case may be incarcerated for a term of from two to six years. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 July 2019)

Background article:
Actions against Jehovah's Witnesses in Kaluga
June 30, 2019
Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,