Relatives and friends of Sergey Melnik in the courtroom, Volgograd, July 2019. Photo by Tatiana Filimonova for the Caucasian Knot

07 December 2019, 08:47

Five Jehovah Witnesses* left in custody in Volgograd

On December 6, a Volgograd court extended by two months the detention of five Jehovah Witnesses*. Their relatives complain that investigators ban to visit the detainees.

The session of the Tsentralny District Court of Volgograd was held behind closed doors, relatives told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. They noted that they had to wait for the court ruling in the street.

According to Olga Medvedeva, the wife of Denis Peresunko, in his letters, her husband did not complain about the custody conditions at the SIZO (pre-trial prison). "However, we're not allowed to visit them. Since September, we have a new investigator; she had forbidden visits – we failed to see the detainees in October and November," Olga has told.

Anna Melnik, the wife of Sergey Melnik, also told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that her husband did not complain about anything in the letters. "But for two months already, since they replaced the investigator, they have banned visits. Now, they haven't let us into the courtroom, but they allowed me to enter the courthouse, and when the detainees were convoyed in, we could exchange a few words. All the time, advocates insist on the house arrest, but the court decides differently," she has noted.

* 396 Russian organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses are recognized as extremist, and their activities are banned in Russia by the court's decision.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 6, 2019 at 07:31 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tatiana Filimonova; Source: CK correspondent

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