Jehovah's Witnesses allege torture by Russian police

The Man

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Jul 2011
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#1
Jehovah’s Witnesses, a U.S.-based religious denomination that Russia has branded extremist and banned, says that police in Russia's Khanty-Mansi region have tortured several members of the congregation.

In a February 19 statement, the religious group said that at least seven of its adherents were "subjected to torture -- electric shocks, suffocation, and cruel beatings" by the Investigative Committee's officers in the city of Surgut, in northwestern Siberia, after they were detained on February 15 on extremism charges.

The statement says that those detained refused to answer police questions about other members of the congregation and after the only legal representative left the interrogation room, the officers "tied the victims’ hands behind their backs, beat them, poured water on their naked bodies, and subjected them to electric shocks."

"The torture lasted for several hours," the statement said.

According to the statement, 19 members of the congregation were charged with the alleged organization of extremist activities and at least three of them remain behind bars.

The released members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses turned to medical institutions to document bodily harm sustained during torture, the statement says, adding that the group will seek justice in court.

The Investigative Committee rejected the Jehovah's Witnesses' statement.

Homes Raided

A committee spokesman in the Khanty-Mansi region, Oleg Menshikh, told the TASS news agency on February 20 that no law was violated during the interrogations.

"Nobody tortured them. There was no physical or psychological pressure on them," TASS quoted Menshikh as saying.

Police have started raiding the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in that region and in the region of Mordovia on February 7, a day after a Russian court convicted Dennis Christensen, a Danish member of the religious group, on an extremism charge and sentenced him to six years in prison in the western city of Oryol.

Human rights organizations, the European Union, and United States officials have condemned Christensen’s conviction and called on Russia to respect freedom of religion.

Christensen was arrested in Oryol in May 2017, a month after Russia's Supreme Court labeled the religious group an extremist organization and banned it.

He was the first Jehovah’s Witness to be detained in Russia following the ban.

Since then, dozens of other members of the group in different Russian regions have been detained and face similar extremism charges.
'Electric Shocks, Suffocation': Jehovah's Witnesses Say Russian Police Tortured Church Members

Previously, my thread on Christensen, etc: Danish Jehovah's Witness sentenced to 6 years in Russian prison
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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#3
What exactly did you expect?
I think it's stupid as hell. I have no idea why Putin and his goons would decide to target these people, of all others. They are probably one of the most peaceful and harmless groups in that whole country, for God's sake...
 

One

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#5
I think it's stupid as hell. I have no idea why Putin and his goons would decide to target these people, of all others. They are probably one of the most peaceful and harmless groups in that whole country, for God's sake...
I can muster zero sympathy for anyone who willingly joins that cult.
 
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The Man

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#7
I can muster zero sympathy for anyone who willingly joins that cult.
You can muster zero sympathy for kids who are being ripped out of their families and sent away for forced reeducation? And for victims of torture, as listed in this thread? Among other things.
 
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One

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#8
You can muster zero sympathy for kids who are being ripped out of their families and sent away for forced reeducation? And for victims of torture, as listed in this thread? Among other things.
It isn't the kids fault that they were forced into that horrific cult.
 
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One

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#10
How are they a more horrific cult than say the Catholic Church?
They are the direct cause of the disintegration of my family when I was a child. They are also the reason I was living on the streets at 15 years old.
Did you know that a 6 year old male that has been baptized into their cult has more standing than any female. Did you know they also will protect wife beaters and child molesters from law enforcement? Yes, they are much wose than catholics.
 

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