The administration of the Investigation Committee (SC) for the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug) refused to open a criminal case against the Surgut security officials accused by followers of the Jehovah's Witnesses extremist organization banned in Russia for bullying and torture. This was reported to Znak.com by the Commissioner for Human Rights in Ugra Natalia Strebkova, the department confirmed the information.
According to Strebkova, the SC refused to initiate a criminal case, since he did not see the corpus delicti in the actions of law enforcement officers. She noted that the day before she had sent a request to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug asking to check the legality and validity of the refusal to open a case. In the document, she drew the attention of the prosecutor's office to the fact that independent experts confirmed that the defendants had injuries that could indicate the use of torture.
Recall that in February, 15 members of the local Jehovah's Witnesses community were searched in Surgut. The UK filed a criminal case on the creation and participation in the activities of a prohibited organization and recruitment (part 1, part 1. 1, part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code). Three followers arrested.
After that, seven Jehovah's Witnesses complained of torture in the UK building. They said that they had their hands tied with scotch, the detainees were beaten, stripped naked, doused with water and used a stun gun to them. This lasted for several hours, said Jehovah's Witnesses.
Representatives of the regional SC claimed that “no physical or mental, psychological impact was exerted on them,” and no allegations of torture were reported. However, at the end of February, the ministry began to verify this information. As noted by Znak.com, on March 27 in the regional SC they said that “Jehovah's Witnesses” during the detentions put up “active resistance”, and the security forces allegedly had to use “special combat techniques” in relation to them.