Believers come to SBU building where Fr Viktor Zemlianoy being interrogated

Believers came to the building of the SBU in Rovno to support Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy. Photo: UOJ

Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy, who was initially summoned to the SBU to report a change in suspicion, was subjected to another interrogation.

On August 5, 2019, at about 3:00 p.m., the clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church gathered outside the building of the SBU Office in the Rovno Region in support of the head of the Department for Interfaith Regulation at the Rovno Eparchy of the UOC Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy, reports a UOJ correspondent.

According to the summons that the cleric had received the day before, he was called to the SBU to report a suspicion, the contents of which are currently unknown.

In communication with reporters, the lawyer of the clergyman Raisa Prikhodko said that today she’s had a conversation with the investigator: Archpriest Viktor Zemlyanoy should only be informed about the contents of the suspicion, there was no question of any interrogation.

However, as soon as the clergyman entered the premises of the SBU, literally 10 minutes later he managed to inform by phone that he was being taken for interrogation.

At present, more than twenty priests and about fifty believers who learned about the situation from social networks have gathered under the walls of the SBU in support of the archpriest. People are standing with picket signs, praying to the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, whose memory is celebrated today throughout the Orthodox world, and read an akathist.

We recall that this is far from the first interrogation of Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy in the SBU. The clergyman believes that this is related to his active work to protect the rights of UOC believers: the archpriest helps return the churches taken over by schismatics and prevents new seizures.

On March 28, 2019, the Rovno City Court refused the prosecutor and the SBU investigator to take a preventive measure on Father Viktor, and in May this year, the State Bureau of Investigation began to investigate the legitimacy of the actions of the SBU in the case of the archpriest.

As reported earlier, the period for holding criminal proceedings against archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy opened more than two years ago expires on August 15, 2019. The lawyers of the accused believe that the SBU is trying to hand a suspicion to the priest and begin the trial to avoid transferring the case to the Prosecutor General.

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