ENGLISH VERSION: Testimony of one Jehovah's Witness from Surgut about torture
Warning: the following testimony contains potentially disturbing details.
On 15 February 2019 a search was conducted at my home, since my family professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The search was conducted by an inspector of the Investigative Department for the city of Surgut, Sergei Alekseevich Bogoderov. He was assisted by a technical specialist, an F.S.B. officer, and two OMON troops.
After the search, I was taken to Ostrovsky St., Building 47. During the interrogation I appealed to article 51 of the Russian constitution, and they let me sign a protocol. After this Inspector Bogoderov asked me stay since "detectives want to have a talk" with me. They led me to the end of the corridor and made me face the wall with my legs spread and they struck me with their hands in the area of the back of my neck.
Then they led me to a room that was like a toilet, since it was tiled and various stuff was stored there. They put a black cloth bag over my head, which they bound with scotch tape around my shoulder and across my face. They bound my arms with scotch tape. They kicked me and I fell, and they kicked me in the area of my buttocks. They told me to stand up and struck my head and placed me facedown and someone sat on my back and began to tug my arms up, from which I felt severe pain. Somebody held my legs and beat me with some object on my calves.
All of this lasted about 20 minutes and was accompanied by insults, shocks from a stun gun, and threats that they were now going to "fry" me. Then they began zapping me with the stun gun on both calves (they pressed and held it for several seconds). I felt severe pain.
They moved the electric shocks to the back of my thighs and then put the stun gun in my crotch and zapped. They took off my shoes and began pouring water on my legs and zapping me with the gun on the soles of my feet.
At the same time they were insulting me and humiliating me, striking my head. They poured water on the back of my thighs and began to zap with the stun gun there.
Then they poured water on my arms and began zapping there with the stun gun. Then they turned to my back and began zapping with the stun gun on my knees, groping for places under my knees and other spots on my legs. I screamed loudly and they hit me on the head for that. Then they pulled down my pants and underwear, giving me some injection from which they told me I would have a heart stoppage.
After this they began threatening me with rape and began picking up some object and dragging it on my buttocks. Then they poured water on my legs, after which I felt a jolt of extraordinary force; there were 3 or 4 such charges from which my whole body shuddered and my breath stopped. At the same time there was no jolt from the gun. They asked me whether I needed a doctor. Then they began zapping me with the stun gun on each finger of my hands. After this I agreed to give evidence. They untied me and led me into the corridor, saying that now they would take me to the investigator, but I refused again. They put a bag on my head again, sealed it with scotch tape, and led me into the same room.
There they set me on my knees and ordered me to cover my face with my hands and shut my eyes. After this they struck 5 to 7 blows on my neck and head. After them, they began demanding that I perform squats, but I could not, since my leg cramped. They pushed me to the floor and began choking me while zapping with the stun gun. Then they began beating my legs with strong shocks without the sound of the stun gun. My head hurt from the strong blows and they began holding my head. This continued a long time and I lost track of time.
I again agreed to give evidence. They showed me photographs of people and I gave their names. One person I did not know—and they again put the bag on me and began choking me and zapping me on my fingers with the stun gun. This happened throughout the whole interrogation. If I said "I do not know," they zapped me, while in the case of a positive answer they gave me a break. All this was accompanied by threats of reprisal upon me and my loved ones.
Then they told me that I should repeat all this for the investigator. They led me into the corridor and to Inspector Bogoderov. There were three detectives with me, who beat and tortured me. The inspector demanded my cell phone password. I refused, but the detectives began threatening me again and shoving my body, and I was forced to tell the password.
Only after this did the detectives leave. The inspector began by saying that I would be able to avoid all of this if I would give evidence right away. My breathing became very fast and I again began refusing evidence. The same detectives came in, grabbed me, and took me into the same corridor, first placing me near the wall. From their words I understood that there was some lawyer here and therefore for a time they would do nothing. They simply pressured me morally, striking blows with their fists on my ribs and head, demanding I give the investigator evidence. I agreed, but with the condition that it be only in the presence of a lawyer. They brought in attorney Fomina, who advised me to cooperate with the inspector. This was approximately at ten p.m., since the inspector's computer gave the time. I told the attorney that they tortured me and she saw my condition. Fearing a continuation of torture, I agreed to give evidence. They conducted my interrogation with the participation of attorney Fomina.
At the end of the interrogation, the inspector reported that he was going to his superior, Ermolaev, for consultation. Ermolaev came and dismissed the investigator and attorney in order to talk with me one on one. He said that he wanted to correct my interrogation, but he did not succeed. We moved into his office and there he redid my interrogation and I signed the report.
They took my signed promise not to depart and let me go home at 00:40. The inspector took me home and was silent all the way. From torture I had the following physical injuries: severe pains in my calves from overstressed muscles, bruise on my left knee, abrasions on my right arm, hematomas on my back and neck, severe pain in my head. My stutter returned and there also was a severe strain of my jaw and bruise on the right side. I have contacted medical institutions repeatedly. On 16 February 2019 at 21:00 my temperature rose and first aid took me to the emergency room. I also filed complaints about torture in the prosecutor's office of Surgut and higher prosecutor's offices. I am able to identify the ones who tortured me. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 February 2019)
Translator's note: this document was provided by an unidentified source connected with the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Artem Stanislavovich Kim, Jehovah's Witness,
"RUSSIA RELIGION NEWS", February 20, 2019