Russian Federation: Effectively investigate allegations of torture against and persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses
All reports of torture and other ill-treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses targeted by law enforcement officials during and following the 15 February 2019 searches of at least 20 of their homes in Surgut, Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Region-Yugra, should be promptly, effectively and impartially investigated, and all responsible brought to justice. Further, criminal proceedings against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Surgut on the basis of the April 2017 ruling of the Russian Supreme Court which bans the group in Russia and equates it to an extremist organization – and proceedings against Jehovah’s Witnesses in other parts of Russia – should be terminated. Those in custody should be immediately and unconditionally released, and all persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses across Russia must cease.
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