Late in the evening of February 10, 2020, Vadim Kutsenko, 31, was tortured in the forest, leaving him in pain and weakness. Law enforcement officers repeatedly beat and choked him and applied electric shocks to his stomach and leg.
They demanded that he give them information about other Jehovah’s Witnesses. When the officers realized that Vadim Kutsenko would not divulge any information, they took him to the investigator’s office for further interrogation. He remains in custody. On February 15, 2020, the Ingodinskiy District Court will determine what, if any, restrictions they will impose on him.
The condition of other detained Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sergey Kirilyuk, and Pavel Mamalimov, is unknown.
The Trans-Baikal Territory is the territory where during the Stalinist repressions Jehovah’s Witnesses were massively exiled to a special settlement. Believers were later rehabilitated and recognized as victims of political repression.
A year ago, on February 15, 2019, seven peaceful Jehovah’s Witnesses in Surgut were tortured with electric shocks, suffocation, and beatings. Under torture, investigators forced them to answer questions about their religion and fellow believers. According to the messages of believers, an investigation is under way.