• March 18, 2019

The Council of Europe (CPT) which monitors the treatment of persons held in prisons, police stations and other secure institutions has acknowledged a concern lodged by the Celtic League about the treatment of persons detained in Russia because of their faith.

The BBC had reported that a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses held at a police station in the country had been subjected to torture including electric shock treatment. People of that faith are being persecuted following the ruling of the countries Supreme court that the organisation was extremist. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is concerned by the Court ruling.

The CPT have said the concerns lodged by the Celtic League have been brought to the relevant persons within the body to be dealt with.

The CPT which covers all 47 member countries of the Council of Europe (including the Russian Federation) has a number of Divisions covering Western, Eastern and Southern Europe. It inspects all facilities on a rotational visit and also undertakes emergency examinations of facilities. Since its inception a quarter of a century ago standards applied at prisons and police stations have improved tremendously across the CoE.

The Russian judicial authorities are saying the three Jehovah’s Witnesses involved were dealt with ‘in accordance with the law’. However its reported up to 250 members of the faith are currently suffering direct State harassment for their beliefs.




Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary
Celtic League

Seven Jehovah’s Witnesses claim they were tortured by police in Russia because of their faith.
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