Jehovah's Witnesses subjected to prison brutality


Feliks Makhammadiev has a broken rib and injured lung and kidney

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 15 February 2020


On 6 February 2020, in Orenburg, personnel of Correctional Penal Colony No. 1 beat believers Budenchuk, Makhammadiev, Miretsky, Gridasov, and German with clubs and their feet. As a result, one of them, Feliks Makhammadiev, has been hospitalized. The rest have been sent to a punishment cell on false charges.


The believers were beaten during their admission to the correctional labor colony located on Crimea Lane in Orenburg. The next day, physicians examined them. Only after Feliks Makhammadiev wrote a document to the effect that he "hurt himself in the restroom" was a first aid team summoned for him. He was hospitalized and surgery was performed and a tube was inserted into his lung to remove fluid. Besides other things, analysis showed that Makhammadiev was malnourished (he has gluten intolerance and special food ordered by a physician was withheld from him by colony workers). The other believers were moved to a punishment cell on the basis of absurd false charges, for example, "for smoking in the wrong place" (Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke because of religious convictions).


On 19 Sept3ember 2019, six Saratov believers were sentenced to terms of from two to three and a half years imprisonment by Judge Dmitry Larin of the Lenin district court of Saratov. Three months later, on 20 December 2019, the Saratov oblast court left the sentence in effect. Konstantin Bazhenov, the sixth believer, was sent to Correctional Penal Colony No. 3 in Ulianovsk oblast and therefore he did not suffer as a result of the incident in the Orenburg colony.


Correctional Penal Colony No. 1 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Orenburg oblast is located in Orenburg at 119 Crimea Lane. The director of the institution is Internal Service Major Alexander Nikolaevich Grebennikov.


A year ago, on 15 February 2019, seven peaceful Jehovah's Witnesses in Surgut were subjected to tortures—electric shock, asphyxiation, and refined beatings. Under torture, investigators forced them to answer questions about their religious confession and fellow believers. According to reports of the believers, an investigation is underway. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 February 2020)

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