Dmitriy Mikhaylov, a 40-year-old resident of Shuya who professes the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, signed an agreement restricting travel. Searches were conducted in town.ъ
Early in the morning of April 20, 2018, the city of Shuya was simultaneously searched in 4 apartments of citizens suspected of practicing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
During one of the searches, riot policemen, invading believers, put a gun to the head of their neighbor in a communal apartment, although he did not offer any resistance, and forced this peaceful man to lie down on the floor, so that he remained in that position for about 15 minutes. During another search, the man was threatened with handcuffing to prevent him from getting legal advice over the phone. The woman whose home was being searched didn’t be able to follow the actions of the operatives, as she had to reassure a small child. After searches of women who, during interrogation, exercised their right under Art. 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, intimidated by criminal prosecution. Citizens have selected phones and tablets, which in most cases they need for work and daily activities. Bank cards and various kinds of documentation were also confiscated.
The case of Dmitry Mikhailov was instituted on April 19, 2018 by the senior investigator of the Komsomol Inter-District Investigation Department, seconded to the Investigation Department in Shuya of the Investigation Department of the Ivanovo Region by captain of justice Robert Barseghyan. On the same day, Sergei Garber, a judge of the Shuisky City Court, authorized a search of Dmitry Mikhailov’s house. The initiation of criminal proceedings was preceded by operational search measures that lasted several months, including listening to the phones of believers and unofficial video filming. The criminal case was a direct consequence of the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to liquidate and ban the activities of all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Law enforcement officers mistakenly accept the joint confession of citizens for participation in an extremist organization.