Human Rights

The ECHR lifted the interim measures, but continues to consider the complaint of Surgut residents about torture

France,   Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area

On 20 March 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) lifted the urgent interim measures imposed in the event of a threat to the applicant's life. However, the cessation of such a threat, which makes it possible to remove interim measures, does not mean that the ECHR recognized the failure to prove the torture committed on February 15, 2019. The ECHR continues to consider the complaint of Sergey Loginov and other believers from Surgut (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area) about the torture inflicted on them.

On March 18, 2019, the Russian Government, in its response to the ECHR, referring to the medical examinations carried out, indicated the absence of diseases preventing the detention of Sergey Loginov. However, an independent medical examination for torture (examination of the skin by experts in the field of forensic medical examination, psychological research) has not yet been carried out in relation to the believer.

The believer's lawyer requested an independent examination with the involvement of dermatologists and psychologists, as well as other highly specialized experts specializing in skin burns, in order to identify traces of the use of stun guns and the psychological consequences of torture. In response to this petition, the believer, who was beaten with a stun gun through a wet cloth to reduce the appearance of burns on his body, was externally examined by a paramedic of the pre-trial detention center through the prison bars! Later, a consultation with a psychiatrist was organized in the pre-trial detention center for the presence of mental illness in Loginov. Meanwhile, the defense did not doubt that he did not have mental illness, but asked to identify the psychological trauma caused by the use of torture. Russia has not done this.

On March 5, 2019, 18 days after the torture, when the traces of burns caused by the stun gun became indistinguishable, Loginov was examined at the Nizhnevartovsk District Clinical Hospital for the presence of diseases that prevent his detention. At the same time, specialists in the field of studying the skin and a psychologist were still not involved in the examination.

Thus, the Russian authorities replaced the requirement to examine Loginov for torture with a medical report on his general state of health. Believers continue to seek an investigation into what happened.

Case of Loginov and Others in Surgut

Case History
In February 2019, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against 18 men and 1 woman from Surgut (among them was a man mistaken for a Jehovah’s Witness). Their homes were searched. During the interrogations, 7 believers were subjected to violence. Artur Severinchik was sent to a pre-trial detention center for 29 days, and Yevgeny Fedin and Sergey Loginov - for 56. Timofey Zhukov was illegally placed in a psychiatric hospital for 14 days. Believers complained about the use of torture to the Investigative Committee, the ECHR and the Commissioner for Human Rights, a press conference was held with the participation of human rights defenders, but none of the security forces was ever brought to justice. In October 2021, the case materials were submitted to the court. The prosecutor requested imprisonment for the defendants for a term of 3 years and 3 months to 8.5 years in prison, and for Loginov - 9.5 years, which was the most severe request for punishment for believing in Jehovah God in modern Russia.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area
Suspected of:
delivering speeches, engaging in the Witnesses' public preaching activity with local members, meeting with Bible education volunteers and appointed congregation assistants, and having as one objective the organizing of appointed men in the Vzlyotnove Congregation
Court case number:
February 11, 2019
Current case stage:
verdict did not take effect
Investigative Department of the city of Surgut of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Khanty-Mansi Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1), 282.2 (2)
Court case number:
№ 1-27/2023 (1-130/2022; 1-1348/2021)
Сургутский городской суд
Дмитрий Люпин
Case History