Court in Kostroma Mitigates Restrictions for Young Witness Couple

Photo: Police raid in Kostroma, 2018. Photo source: «ТВ Центр»

On January 22, 2019, for the first time in six months, a young couple, Sergey and Valeria Rayman, were allowed to live together, use the phone, and send and receive messages. A court in Kostroma denied the investigator’s claim to extend their restrictive measures. Instead, they were ordered to sign a recognizance agreement. The criminal case against them has not yet been terminated—each spouse could still face up to 10 years in prison.

Sergey Rayman spent 59 days in Detention Centre No. 1 of the Kostroma Region, 30 days under house arrest, and 90 days under restrictions. He was prohibited from leaving the house at night, using the Internet or telephone, receiving mail, and communicating with “persons who profess the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” His wife, Valeria, spent 2 days in custody and another 179 days under restrictions. During this time they could not live a normal life or communicate with each other.

Case of the Raymans and Others in Kostroma

Kostroma Region
Case number:
Current stage:
preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of:
according to the investigation they participated in religious services, which is interpreted as organising and participating in the activities of an extremist organisation (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Article of the Russian Criminal Code:
282.2 (1)
282.2 (2)
Investigative Department for the Tsentralniy District of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Kostroma Region
Case initiated:
24 July 2018

Persons in the case