MARCH 1, 2019
On February 25, 2019, an application for urgent measures was filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of Brother Sergey Loginov, one of the seven brothers who was tortured by officials in the western Siberian city of Surgut. The other six brothers who were tortured have been released, but Brother Loginov has been in pretrial detention since his arrest and does not have access to adequate medical care for his injuries.
On February 26, just a day after the application was filed, the ECHR responded with a favorable ruling. The Court granted the request, ordering Russia to “immediately” have Brother Loginov examined by a team of independent doctors to determine the extent of the “physical and psychological” harm he suffered and whether his health allows for continued detention. The Russian government has until March 11, 2019, to respond.
The ECHR grants such requests only in exceptional circumstances, when an individual is at risk of imminent and irreparable harm. It is therefore encouraging to note that the ECHR took this step and so quickly—just a day after the application was filed. The ECHR has indicated that it will closely monitor the abuse suffered by our brothers.
Currently, 19 Witnesses are facing criminal charges in Surgut, 3 of whom are being held in pretrial detention.
As we continue to supplicate Jehovah in behalf of our brothers, may we keep firmly in mind the reassuring words of Jeremiah: “Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Jehovah, whose confidence is in Jehovah.”—Jeremiah 17:7.