On February 5, police in Khanty-Mansiysk detained former prosecutorial staff member Timofei Zhukov, whom the UK accuses of organizing the Surgut community of Jehovah's Witnesses (an extremist and banned organization recognized in Russia). This was reported on the website of the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Zhukov is one of 21 representatives of the denomination who were investigated after mass detentions and searches in Surgut in February last year. All of them were taken for interrogation to the SK building, after which some of the believers complained of torture: during the interrogation, the investigators used a stun gun, beat them with batons and doused them with water.
Timothy Zhukov. Photo: Victoria Odissonova / Novaya Gazeta.
In mid-January, a Surgut court sent him for an examination to a psychiatric hospital in Yekaterinburg: a man was due to arrive there by February 5, but Zhukov soon appealed – the Khanty-Mansiysk Supreme Court had not yet set a date for the hearing. Thus, the decision has not yet entered into legal force.
On February 5, Zhukov arrived in Khanty-Mansiysk to extend a preventive measure to another believer, Sergey Loginov. Zhukov’s wife Natalya told Novaya Gazeta that several police officers had come into the courtroom with a decision to force hospitalization and detained the man when he went out into the corridor.
The police took him to the local police department, from where the Surgut policemen took him to Yekaterinburg in a civilian car. In the Sverdlovsk Regional Psychiatric Hospital on February 7, Natalya Zhukova confirmed that her husband was brought to them the day before, allowed to transfer warm clothes — the man was taken from the court in the same suit — and promised to let them meet tomorrow.
He was sent to a forced examination in Yekaterinburg because he had previously refused to undergo an outpatient examination. “The investigator thinks that I am organizing the protection of the victims. – Zhukov himself explained this earlier in a conversation with Novaya. – They believe that I am the one who presses on the witnesses and advises them. But I just protect my rights: I am writing petitions and complaints. ”