Photo source: Dmitry Barmin / Lori Photobank

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Torture of Jehovah's Witnesses in Surgut

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area

At least 7 peaceful Jehovah's Witnesses were subjected to electric shocks, strangulation to the point of unconsciousness, and sophisticated beatings. The torture was carried out on the first floor of the building of the Investigative Committee of Russia at 47 Ostrovsky Street in Surgut. By torture, believers were forced to answer the questions: "Where do the meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses take place? Who comes to the meetings? What are the names of the elders? What's the password on your phone?"

On the morning of February 15, 2019, mass searches began in the homes of believers in Surgut, after which they were taken to the building of the Investigative Committee. During interrogation, they refused to incriminate themselves and their fellow believers. After the lawyer on duty left, they were tied with tape behind their backs and beaten, stripped naked, doused with water and used a stun gun. The torture continued for several hours.

At least three believers remain in the pre-trial detention center.

A criminal case was opened against 19 local residents for the so-called "organization of an extremist organization."

Those of the believers who were released recorded bodily injuries and appealed to the supervisory authorities, outlining the circumstances of the incident.

Believers will seek a thorough investigation of the sadistic treatment, the identification of the organizers and participants of the torture conveyor. Torture, cruel or degrading treatment is a criminal offence. The Russian Federation is a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture and Inhuman Treatment.

Case of Loginov and Others in Surgut

Case History
In February 2019, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against 18 men and 1 woman from Surgut (among them was a man mistaken for a Jehovah’s Witness). Their homes were searched. During the interrogations, 7 believers were subjected to violence. Artur Severinchik was sent to a pre-trial detention center for 29 days, and Yevgeny Fedin and Sergey Loginov - for 56. Timofey Zhukov was illegally placed in a psychiatric hospital for 14 days. Believers complained about the use of torture to the Investigative Committee, the ECHR and the Commissioner for Human Rights, a press conference was held with the participation of human rights defenders, but none of the security forces was ever brought to justice. In October 2021, the case materials were submitted to the court. The prosecutor requested imprisonment for the defendants for a term of 3 years and 3 months to 8.5 years in prison, and for Loginov - 9.5 years, which was the most severe request for punishment for believing in Jehovah God in modern Russia.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area
Suspected of:
delivering speeches, engaging in the Witnesses' public preaching activity with local members, meeting with Bible education volunteers and appointed congregation assistants, and having as one objective the organizing of appointed men in the Vzlyotnove Congregation
Court case number:
February 11, 2019
Current case stage:
verdict did not take effect
Investigative Department of the city of Surgut of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Khanty-Mansi Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1), 282.2 (2)
Court case number:
№ 1-27/2023 (1-130/2022; 1-1348/2021)
Сургутский городской суд
Дмитрий Люпин
Case History