RUSSIA: Some pending criminal cases of Jehovah’s Witnesses in December

HRWF (16.12.2019) – Along with China and Iran, the Russian State is in the top three most repressive countries for putting believers of a peaceful minority religious group behind bars who use their legitimate right to freedom of religion. Here are a few criminal cases of Jehovah’s Witnesses among many others that were pending in December.

 

Case of Bazhenov and Others in Saratov

Region: Saratov
Locality: Saratov
Case number: 11807630001000037
Number of the case in court: 1-333/2019
Current stage: Trial in appellate court
Suspected of: According to the investigation, together with others he conducted religious services, which is interpreted as “organising the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (1)
Investigating: Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Saratov Region
Case initiated: 9 June 2018

 

Case of Yevgeniy Golik

Yevgeniy Golik, an ex-drug addict from Birobidzhan born in 1975 who had changed his life thanks to the Bible awaits trial for his faith.

Region: Jewish Autonomous Region
Locality: Birobidzhan
Case number: 11907990001000010
Current stage: Review of case materials by the accused in accordance with the Article 217 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
Suspected of: According to the investigation he engaged in “study of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ religious literature among the members of the meeting, including Jehovah’s Witnesses editions of “The Holy Scriptures/ The New World Translation”
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (2)
Investigating: Investigation Office of Russian Federal Security Office for the Jewish autonomous region
Case initiated: 30 July 2019

Case of Vladimir Khokhlov

Name: Vladimir Aleksandrovich Khokhlov
Born: 1977
Current status: Suspect
Detained since: 23 October 2019
Current restrictions: Pre-trial detention
Currently held in: Detention Centre No.2 for Bryansk Region
Address for correspondence: Хохлову Владимиру Александровичу, 1977 г.р., ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Брянской области, ул. Советская, д. 2, г Брянск, 241050
Region: Bryansk Region
Locality: Novozybkov
Case number: 11902150006000061
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: According to the investigation they held talks in public places and living quarters with residents in order to promote the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, involved other people in this activity by persuasion, and raised money.
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (2) and 282.3 (1).
Investigating: The First Department for the investigation of particularly important cases of the Investigative Department of the IC of Russia in Bryansk Region
Case initiated: 16 October 2019

 

Case of Eduard Zhinzhikov

Name:  Eduard Vladimirovich Zhinzhikov
Born: 1971
Current status: Suspect
Detained since: 23 October 2019
Current restrictions: Pre-trial detention
Currently held in: Detention Centre No.2 for Bryansk Region
Address for correspondence: Жинжикову Эдуарду Владимировичу, 1971 г.р., ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Брянской области, ул. Советская, д. 2, г Брянск, 241050
Region: Bryansk Region
Locality: Novozybkov
Case number: 11902150006000061
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: According to the investigation they held talks in public places and living quarters with residents in order to promote the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, involved other people in this activity by persuasion, and raised money.
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (2) and 282.3 (1).
Investigating: The First Department for the investigation of particularly important cases of the Investigative Department of the IC of Russia in Bryansk Region.
Case initiated: 16 October 2019

 

Case of Loginov and Others in Surgut 

150 people came to the Saratov Regional Court to appeal in the case of six believers, but the hearing was postponed until December 20

Region: Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area
Locality: Surgut
Case number: 11902711017027628
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: Delivering speeches, engaging in the Witnesses’ public preaching activity with local members, meeting with Bible education volunteers and appointed congregation assistants, and having as one objective the organizing of appointed men in the Vzlyotnove Congregation
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (1) and 282.2 (2)
Investigating: Investigative Department of the city of Surgut of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Khanty-Mansi Region
Case initiated: 11 February 2019

 

Case of Dmitriy Tischchenko

Ussuriysk citizen Dmitriy Tishchenko faces prison for discussing the Bible in a cafe which is considered extremism by the police.

Name: Dmitriy Vladimirovich Tishchenko
Born: 1984
Current status: Accused
Current restrictions: Recognizance agreement
Region: Primorye Territory
Locality: Ussuriysk
Case number: 11902050012000027
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: According to the investigation he “took steps to organize the recruitment of new members aimed at continuing the illegal activities of the banned religious organization ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia’” (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the liquidation of the religious organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia” and its structural divisions)
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (1)
Investigating: Investigation Department for Ussuriysk city of the Investigation Administration of the IC of Russia for Primorye Territory
Case initiated: 18 June 2019

 

Case of Anton Chermnykh

Young father from Ussuriysk Anton Chermnykh performed civilian service due to religious convictions, but now he is persecuted for them. Read his bio

Name: Anton Yevgeniyevich Chermnykh
Born: 1987
Current status: Accused
Current restrictions: Recognizance agreement
Region: Primorye Territory
Locality: Ussuriysk
Case number: 11902050012000027
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: According to the investigation he “took steps to organize the recruitment of new members aimed at continuing the illegal activities of the banned religious organization ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia’” (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the liquidation of the religious organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia” and its structural divisions)
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (1)
Investigating: Investigation Department for Ussuriysk city of the Investigation Administration of the IC of Russia for Primorye Territory
Case initiated: 18 June 2019

 

Case of Larisa Artamonova

The Bible helped Larisa Artamonova find hope and strength to cope with a rare disease, but now she faces jail for her faith.

Name: Larisa Aleksandrovna Artamonova
Born: 1970
Current status: Accused
Current restrictions: Recognizance agreement
Region: Jewish Autonomous Region
Locality:  Birobidzhan
Case number: 11907990001000015
Current stage: Review of case materials by the accused in accordance with the Article 217 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
Suspected of: According to the investigation she took part in ”preparation and carrying out the functioning of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ preaching activities and spreading this teaching”
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (2)
Investigating: Investigation Office of Russian Federal Security Office for the Jewish autonomous region
Case initiated: 25 September 2019

 

Case of Vasiliy Reznichenko 

A 77-year-old labor veteran, ex-boat captain Vasiliy Reznichenko, is put on the list of extremists because of his faith in God.

Name: Vasiliy Pavlovich Reznichenko
Born: 1942
Current status: Accused
Current restrictions: Recognizance agreement
Region: Amur Region
Locality: Zeya
Case number: 11907100001000017
Current stage: Preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
Suspected of: по версии следствия, «организовал собрания последователей… религиозной организации»
Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2 (2)
Investigating: СО УФСБ России по Амурской области
Case initiated: 11 March 2019

Source and more information: JW-Russia.org