Yekaterinburg, January 11, Interfax - Pavel Datsyuk, an Olympic champion and forward for Yekaterinburg hockey club Avtomobilist, has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to look into the circumstances of the detention of former schema-hegumen Sergy Romanov at the Sredneuralsky Convent in late December 2020.
"We are asking you, Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], to personally look into what happened, bearing in mind the broad public response drawn by this event, especially in the Orthodox community. And also to look into the detention of schema-hegumen Sergy (Romanov), which, we believe, is illegal. We ask that all those involved in these illegal actions be held responsible in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation," Datsyuk said in a letter to the president posted on Instagram on Monday.
The letter talks about the "lawless actions that took place at the Sredneuralsky Convent before Christmas."
"Several hundred people armed with special gear broke into the convent in the early hours of December 29, without showing any documents or making any accusations, and took the convent's founder, schema-hegumen Sergy (Romanov), out of the convent, and then riots occurred on the territory of the convent. There were some 500 people at the convent at that moment [...] Most of them were women and children. They all spent several hours in the freezing cold, waiting for searches of their residences to end. Among these people are those who sustained physical injuries, in addition to emotional damage from torture, intimidation, and mockery by law enforcement officers. Children suffered psychological damage," the letter said.
"The convent has experienced unprecedented pressure from various structures, the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian prosecutors, the Russian Investigative Committee, the police, and other authorities since spring 2020," the letter said. Numerous inspections of the convent "did not yield any violations subject to prosecution," it said.
Besides Datsyuk, the letter to the Russian president was also signed, in particular, by actress Maria Shukshina.
According to earlier reports, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow on December 29 issued an arrest warrant for former schema-hegumen Sergy, who was detained at the Sredneuralsky Convent at night.
The former schema-monk has been charged with several criminal offences such as inducement to suicide, violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and arbitrariness.
Former schema-monk Sergy, who was earlier stripped of his religious orders for violating his priestly oath, monastic vows, and several apostolic rules and church canons, was excommunicated by the church on September 10, 2020.