Говорят очевидцы

Crimea: the rehabilitated is again subjected to repression (video)


During the FSB's November operation against Jehovah's Witnesses, 78-year-old Alexandr Ursu, who has a certificate of rehabilitation as a victim of political repression, was knocked down. In a 3-minute interview, he talks about the tragic events of the past, which are repeated in the present.

Alexandru Ursu: "It was July 6, 1949. I was nine and a half. It was still dark in the morning when we were woken up. When we broke in, we saw that they were military men. They came in and read out that they were evicting them to an eternal settlement. Two soldiers began to tear things from the walls that were on the walls, and put them together: take it, because it will be useful to you with you.

While others were brought and put in a wagon, relatives from our village brought us something from food. Because there was almost nothing to take with us, we did not know that we would be evicted. There was no warning, it was all sudden.

There were already bunks in two floors in the car. We were accommodated on the ground floor. There is another family above, there were two old ones traveling with us. On the contrary, the other two families were in this car, it was a two-axle car. They had just had a little child, two or three months old. And most of it... There were cries because it was very hot. And the heat became when we were kept for hours somewhere on a station or in the steppe. And the air came only through a small window, through which even my head could hardly crawl to look. Then the brothers made a toilet. They cut a hole in the floor and made a screen so that they could go to the toilet.

There was always hunger. All the time - hunger and hunger.

We were taken to the border of the Kurgan and Tyumen regions. To the dead end, to the wilderness..."

November 15, 2018, Dzhankoy. The FSB, with the support of riot police, carried out brutal incursions into the homes of citizens suspected of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. A criminal case has been opened under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

FSB officer: "You don't need to shoot."

Unknown voice: "What's going on, please tell me?"

FSB officer: "Some organization banned in Russia, sectarians. Investigative actions are underway, so please do not interfere."

As of November 19, 2018, 93 people across Russia are subjected to various forms of criminal prosecution on suspicion of professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. 47 people (including 2 EU citizens) were taken into custody. 25 people (including 3 women) remain in the pre-trial detention center. 23 people are under house arrest. More than 35 people are under recognizance not to leave. Most face 6 to 10 years in prison.

Punitive authorities in modern Russia consider any worship of Jehovah as participation in the activities of an "extremist organization" (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to liquidate all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses), while the Russian government officially declares that the decision of the Supreme Court "does not contain a restriction or prohibition to practice the above teachings individually." "There is a contradiction between the declared position of the Government of the Russian Federation and law enforcement practice. This cannot but cause concern, since criminal prosecutions and arrests have become systemic," the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights said in a statement .

Case of Filatov in Dzhankoy

Case History
Sergey Filatov, a father of four, lived a quiet life in Dzhankoy, where he moved from the Kherson region to care for his sick daughter. One autumn evening in 2018, during a large-scale raid by law enforcement officers, his house was attacked by a detachment of armed special forces. Law enforcement officers considered that an exemplary family man “undermines the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the state.” It is noteworthy that there were no victims in the criminal case, the prosecution witness was a security officer, and the rector of an Orthodox church and a local resident, Alexei Voznyak, with a “higher education in religious studies”, were involved as specialists. On March 5, 2020, the judge of the Dzhankoy District Court, Maria Ermakova, sentenced the believer to 6 years in prison. He is serving his sentence in a penal colony. Sergey remains in good spirits and is respected among the prisoners.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Suspected of:
"At an unspecified time, no later than October 13, 2017, carried out organizational activities aimed at continuing the unlawful activities of this organization [Jehovah’s Witnesses LRO 'Sivash'], expressed in holding meetings and religious speeches, and also promoting religious ideas of this organization by means of registered dwelling place" (from the order on institution of criminal proceedings)
Court case number:
November 10, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Crimea Region and of the Sevastopol
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
Верховный суд Республики Крым
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Мария Ермакова
Case History