SEARCHES IN TWO BELIEVERS' HOMES IN SURGUT FOUND ILLEGAL
Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 18 April 2019
On 27 March 2019, a court in Khanty-Mansi autonomous district Yugra granted the appellate request of Evgeny Kairiak regarding a warrant for a search in his apartment. The plaintiff cited the lack of legal bases for a search. The court noted that "the [lower] court did not justify in any way and did not evaluate the decision rendered and it did not make any substantive arguments as to why it considered the petition of the investigator for permission to conduct a search to be justified and thus should be granted." The case was closed.
On the same day, a district court issued a ruling on a similar complaint by Viacheslav Boronos. The warrant for permission of a search in his apartment was ruled to be illegal by reason of violations of procedural norms (lack of appropriately worded protocol of the court session). The petition of the investigator was sent to the court of the first instance for a new consideration.
On 15 February 2019, soon after the searches, Evgeny Kairiak and Viacheslav Boronos reported that they had been subjected to tortures in the building of the Investigative Committee during interrogation. A criminal case was opened against them. The believers insist on their complete innocence, while the courts in Surgut and other Russian cities continue to interpret ordinary religious activity by believers as extremist activity. Attention to this problem has already been called by the Council on Human Rights, the president of Russia, the European Court of Human Rights, and many other Russian and international organizations. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 April 2019)
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