Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

New Searches in Homes of Believers in the Trans-Baikal Territory. For One Victim, History Repeats Itself 71 Years Later

Trans-Baikal Territory

On June 14, 2022, at least 5 civilians were subjected to searches in the town of Baley, Trans-Baikal Territory. These are Lidiya Bzovi, Yelena Baylukova, 71-year-old Tatyana Kuznetsova and the Saranchuk spouses: 75-year-old Valeriy and 71-year-old Tatyana.

The elderly believer Lidiya Bzovi is facing religious persecution for the second time in her life. In 1951, by order of Joseph Stalin, she was exiled to Siberia along with other Jehovah's Witnesses. That sad page in the history of Soviet repressions was called Operation North.

The searches were initiated by the investigator of the Nerchinsk Interdistrict Investigation Department N. O. Buintseva. In June 2022, she opened a criminal case no. 12202760012000028 under Part 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in extremist activities). The search warrant was given by the judge of the Baley City Court of the Trans-Baikal Territory O. Yu. Shcheglova.

In 2020, the previous wave of searches struck local Jehovah's Witnesses in the Trans-Baikal Territory. They were accompanied by beatings and torture. A criminal case was initiated against seven detainees. One of the believers in June 2022 was sentenced to 6 years in prison, two — to 6.5.