On November 14, 2019, the Kostroma Regional Court approved the decision of the district court to return the criminal case to the prosecutor's office. Valeriya and Sergey Rayman are innocent.
Court in Kostroma Recognizes Right to Believe as Jehovah's Witnesses and Chastises Investigators for Unfounded Charges
On September 25, 2019, the Sverdlovsk District Court of Kostroma returned the criminal case against the couple of Valeriya and Sergey Rayman to the Kostroma prosecutor's office. In its ruling, the court emphasized that in the case of the spouses “there was a legal right to practice the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses which was not prohibited.”
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.
Measures have been reduced from prison detention to restrictions on various activities, and even just on travel, but believers still face the threat of up to 10 years in prison. Investigators demand the right to hold them under guard in failed attempts to force them into self-incrimination.
On 21 September 2018, Sergey Rayman came out of the detention centre after 59 days. It is noteworthy that the representative of the prosecutor’s office supported the motion for house arrest.
On 20 September 2018 throughout Kostroma, searches were conducted in the homes of persons suspected of professing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At least four people, men and women, were arrested and taken for interrogation.
22-year-old Sergey Rayman was put behind bars. Preventive measures were imposed on his wife, who was forbidden to leave home at night or to use the Internet, phone or mail as well as to communicate with “persons professing the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.