High court in south Russia rules in Jehovah's Witness' favor


OVDInfo, 13 October 2020


On 7 October, the Dagestan Supreme Court ruled that the refusal of compensation for Jehovah's Witness Arsen Abdullaev was not in compliance with the law; he was detailed in a SIZO for several months illegally. This was reported by Kavkaz.Realii, citing the believer's lawyer, Maksim Pervunin.


Thereby the Supreme Court found the decision of the district court of Makhachkala to be illegal, which twice refused Abdullaev compensation. At the same time, the basis for the refusal of the court of first instance had been that the lawsuit was signed by the attorney and not by his client.


"This is nonsense, that plaintiffs' claims must be signed by defendants. And this despite the fact that my client was present in the court and he declared that he fully supported the lawsuit," the publication quoted Pervunin.


The lawyer is sure that the request for compensation is fully reasonable, since previously a cassation court ruled Abdullaev's arrest, along with that of another three Jehovah's Witnesses from Makhachkala, to be illegal. The believer was in custody from September to November 2019. The defense pointed out that in this period Abdullaev suffered damages worth 286,000 rubles, wages that he was deprived of during his detention and court costs.


"It is necessary to act not on the basis of a prejudicial attitude toward a religious minority, but on the basis of the law. The cassation court clearly established that the detention in custody was illegal. Because article 28 of our constitution determines that every citizen has the right to profess his own religion and he should not be confined in a SIZO for that," the lawyer Maksim Pervunin noted.


Four Jehovah's Witnesses from Makhachkala—Arsen Abdullaev, Maria Karpova, Anton Dergalev, and Marat Abdulgalimov—were in custody from June 2019 and their detention was extended several times. The believers were arrested after widespread searches in 13 homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in Makhachkala, Kaspiisk, Kizliar, and Derbent on 1 June 2019. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 October 2020)

Background articles:
Jehovah's Witnesses in south Russia face delays of trial while in custody
February 26, 2020

Jehovah's Witnesses caught in complicated appeals process
March 4, 2020

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