Three Jehovah's Witnesses arrested in Pskov region


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 11 April 2019


On 3 April 2019, in the city of Porkhov of Pskov oblast, FSB officers broke into the apartment where the married couple Sergei and Svetlana Komissarov live. The security troops threw the head of the family onto the floor and took from him and his guests mobile devices and forbade them to record what was happening. Thus began the "FSB operation of the city of Pskov," during which yet another search was conducted on the same day.


As Sergei described, in the morning, around 11:00, unidentified persons began to call insistently at the door of the apartment where they live. "I went to the door; the lock was not closed. I opened the door and I saw many people. Not understanding what was happening, I began to close it and then I was suddenly attacked and hit on the head; I was thrown to the floor. After this a whole crowd surged into the apartment." Sergei was shown a court's order for a search. Then the officers hacked into his accounts on several internet sites and they dictated information into a report. The law enforcement personnel confiscated the computer, a tablet, and all information media.


Eyewitnesses said that nobody present was permitted to photograph or copy or in any other way record the names, ranks, and positions of the operatives. The search lasted approximately four and a half hours. Around 16:30 a search began in the apartment of two of Sergei's guests. From them the officers seized laptops, a tablet, telephone, bank card, and flash drives.


In the end, 52-year-old Sergei Komissarov, his wife, and 44-year-old Aleksei Khabarov were taken away for questioning in the oblast center, in the main directorate of the Russian FSB for Pskov oblast. All were released around midnight and a written promise not to depart was taken from the men.


It has been learned that searches were conducted within the context of a criminal case regarding extremism, which was opened by the senior investigator for especially important cases of the investigation department of the Russian UFSB for Pskov oblast, Justice Lieutenant Colonel Irina Pravdivtseva. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 April 2019)

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