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RUSSIA: Jailed, awaiting appeal, deported, post-prison restrictions - list

Of 54 people given jail sentences on "extremism" charges for exercising freedom of religion or belief, 20 are serving their sentences in prison, 12 awaiting appeal, 2 were deported after completing their jail term and 16 have been released from prison but remain under restrictions or supervision. Two who have completed their jail terms have left Russia and are therefore no longer subject to the post-prison restrictions. Two left Russia before conviction. Post-prison restrictions on 46-year-old prisoner of conscience Aleksey Berchuk are due to end on 27 November 2038, when he would be 63.

Of those given jail sentences on "extremism" charges for exercising freedom of religion or belief, 20 are serving jail terms, 12 are awaiting appeal, two have been deported after completing prison terms and 16 are under the restrictions and supervision that last many years after a prison term is completed. Two who have completed their jail terms have left Russia and are therefore no longer subject to the post-prison restrictions. Two left Russia before conviction.

Anna and Aleksey Berchuk outside Blagoveshchensk City Court
Jehovah's Witnesses
Post-prison restrictions are long and burdensome. Those given to 46-year-old Jehovah's Witness prisoner of conscience Aleksey Berchuk are due to end on 27 November 2038, when he would be 63 (see below).

A total of 54 people have been given jail terms under the Extremism Law since 2015 for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief (listed at the foot of this article). Of this total:

1) Sentences have entered legal force: 20 people (19 Jehovah's Witnesses, 1 Muslim);
2) Sentenced to imprisonment – detained or under house arrest awaiting appeal: 12 people (12 Jehovah's Witnesses);
3) Deported following imprisonment: 2 people (2 Jehovah's Witnesses);
4) Released but under restrictions/supervision: 16 people (12 Jehovah's Witnesses, 4 Muslims);
5) Left Russia after completing prison term: 2 people (2 Muslims);
6) Left Russia before trial completed, convicted in absentia: 2 people (2 Jehovah's Witnesses).

Courts in Russian-annexed Crimea and Sevastopol have also sentenced Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims to imprisonment for exercising their freedom of religion and belief.

Serving jail terms

Russia's Supreme Court, Moscow
Anton Naumliuk (RFE/RL)
Thirty-two people convicted on extremism charges for exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief are currently serving prison sentences or are detained awaiting appeal – 31 Jehovah's Witnesses and one Muslim prosecuted for studying the works of Said Nursi.

A further 20 have now been released, either after completing their prison sentences or because they had already served the time in detention. Of the 20, 16 remain under some form of restrictions, while two Muslims have left Russia, and two Jehovah's Witnesses who were deprived of Russian citizenship have been deported to Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

All but one of the Jehovah's Witnesses sentenced to imprisonment were prosecuted as a direct result of the Supreme Court's 2017 liquidation of the Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre and its subsidiaries as "extremist organisations", and its prohibition of their activities nationwide.

Jehovah's Witnesses have frequently argued that this did not amount to a ban on holding or practising Jehovah's Witness beliefs, but investigators, prosecutors, and judges have almost invariably taken collective prayer, hymn singing, and Bible study to be evidence of the "continuation of the activities of an extremist organisation".

Recent convictions have included those of three men in Astrakhan who received eight-year prison terms on 25 October, the joint longest sentences yet handed down to Jehovah's Witnesses. Olga Ivanova, tried alongside them, received the longest term yet given to a woman (three years and six months). On 30 June 2021, Jehovah's Witness Aleksey Berchuk from Blagoveshchensk had also been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment; his fellow defendant Dmitry Golik received seven years, later reduced on appeal.

In November 2021, Dmitry Barmakin became the first Jehovah's Witness to be found not guilty under Criminal Code Article 282.2 ("continuing the activities of a banned extremist organisation") when a Vladivostok court acquitted him on the basis of recent amendments to the Supreme Court's decree on the application of the Extremism Law.

What wider impact these amendments might have on the prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims who read Nursi's works remains unclear. Prosecutors are challenging Barmakin's acquittal.

Prosecutions

Dennis Christensen behind glass in Railway District Court, Oryol
Currenttime.tv
Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims who study the works of the late Turkish theologian Said Nursi are most frequently prosecuted under Criminal Code:

- Article 282.2 for "organising" (Part 1, possible prison term of 6 to 10 years), or "participating in" (Part 2, 2 to 6 years), "the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity". The majority of convictions have been under this Article;
- Article 282.2, Part 1.1 ("Inclination, recruitment or other involvement of a person in an extremist organisation") (4 to 8 years);
- and Article 282.3, Part 1 ("Financing extremist activity") (3 to 8 years).

People convicted under these Articles have also received suspended sentences and fines.

More than 540 Jehovah's Witnesses remain under investigation, are on trial, or have been convicted for continuing to meet for prayer and Bible study after the 2017 ban. A total of 150 people have now received sentences, including 17 fines, 89 suspended sentences, and 44 prison terms. Two other Jehovah's Witnesses have been convicted of "continuing the activities" of the local Jehovah's Witness religious organisation in Oryol, which was liquidated as extremist in 2016, before the nationwide ban. One of them – Danish citizen Dennis Christensen – has been imprisoned.

No trials are currently underway of Muslims who meet to study the writings of Said Nursi, but seven people are thought to be facing prosecution in the Republics of Dagestan and Tatarstan.

Nakiya Sharifullina, a 63-year-old teacher from Tatarstan who received a suspended sentence under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 on 31 August 2021, is challenging her conviction. Prosecutors have also lodged an appeal "in view of the leniency of the punishment", spokesperson Ruslan Galiyev of the Tatarstan Republic Prosecutor's Office told Forum 18 on 29 November. Both appeals are due to be heard at the Supreme Court of the Tatarstan Republic on 17 December.

Currently behind bars

Valentina Baranovskaya
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Twenty people – 19 Jehovah's Witnesses and one Muslim prosecuted for studying Nursi's works – are currently serving jail sentences, their convictions having entered legal force after unsuccessful appeals. They include one woman – 70-year-old Valentina Baranovskaya – who is also the oldest Jehovah's Witness yet to be imprisoned and the first to receive a prison term under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; a court refused her application for early release on grounds of ill health on 18 October 2021.

As first-time offenders, these people are incarcerated in general-regime prison camps (ispravitelniye kolonii, correctional colonies) (except for three whose appeal has only just taken place and who therefore remain in detention). These are usually located a long way from prisoners' homes, sometimes several thousand kilometres. In some cases, the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) may have an individual transferred through several detention centres across the country before they reach their final destination.

Twelve more Jehovah's Witnesses remain in detention awaiting appeal. They include Dmitry Terebilov, who is the only Jehovah's Witness who will serve his sentence in a strict-regime prison camp (if his appeal is unsuccessful). Before he became a Jehovah's Witness, he had been convicted of drug-related offences; if a person is convicted of another offence while they still have an active criminal record (sudimost), they may be imprisoned under a harsher regime.

Released but still under restrictions

The Jehovah's Witnesses who received the earliest jail sentences after the nationwide ban have now been released. Of these six – convicted together in Saratov in September 2019 – two have been deported and four have returned home. Those who remain in Russia – as well as four Muslims who read Nursi's works who have also completed their prison terms – are now under various restrictions (two other Muslims left the country after release).

These include restrictions on freedom (part of the original sentence, applicable for a set period after release), bans on engaging in particular activities or holding particular positions (also part of the original sentence, applicable for a set period after release), and administrative supervision (imposed by a court at the request of prison authorities or police, and beginning after the period of restrictions on freedom is over).

A period of restrictions on freedom is compulsory for those sentenced to imprisonment under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Parts 1, 1.1, or 2. A ban on particular activities/positions is compulsory only for those imprisoned under Part 1.

Administrative supervision for the full duration of sudimost is also compulsory for people convicted under certain Articles of the Criminal Code, including Article 282.2 and 282.3 (which have a sudimost period of eight years).

These restrictive measures also apply to those people who were handed a prison sentence but released from the courtroom or shortly after conviction as they had already served the duration of their sentences in detention or under house arrest. There are eight individuals currently in this category, all Jehovah's Witnesses.

First acquittal

Yelena and Dmitry Barmakin
Jehovah's Witness
On 22 November 2021, Pervorechensky District Court in Vladivostok found Dmitry Barmakin not guilty of "organising the activities of a banned extremist organisation", the first time a Jehovah's Witness has been acquitted since the nationwide ban.

Barmakin's acquittal has not, however, entered legal force, as prosecutors submitted an appeal against it on 1 December 2021. Barmakin and his lawyers now have until 20 December 2021 to lodge their counter-arguments. The appeal will be heard at Primorye Regional Court, but no hearing date is yet known.

On 28 October 2021, the Supreme Court issued amendments to its 2011 decree "On judicial practice in criminal cases concerning extremism offences", which instructs judges on how to apply the Extremism Law. The amendments direct judges to ascertain a defendant's "specific actions", their motivation, and "the significance [of these actions] for the continuation or resumption of [a banned organisation]'s activities", rather than rely on generalised claims.

The judge in Barmakin's case noted that "the motives for committing these crimes [under Criminal Code Article 282.2] are subject to proof", adding that "such motives in this case have not been proven". He decided that Barmakin "must be acquitted due to the absence of a crime in [his] actions".

The amendments have not, however, resulted in acquittal for other Jehovah's Witnesses. Since they came into force, courts have convicted a further six people (three of whom received fines, and three – suspended sentences) and upheld nine earlier guilty verdicts.

On 6 December, however, after a nine-month trial, Zelenogorsk City Court returned the case against Aleksandr Alekseyevich Kabanov (born 16 August 1960) to prosecutors because of insufficient evidence, according to the court website. Two Jehovah's Witnesses have also succeeded in having their cases returned for re-examination. On 26 November 2021, Pskov Regional Court sent Aleksey Nikolayevich Khabarov's (born 15 February 1975) case back for re-trial in the first-instance court, while on 24 November, the 8th Cassational Court ruled that Yury Savelyov's appeal should be re-examined. Whether these decisions were influenced by the amendments is unclear.

The only other Jehovah's Witnesses to be acquitted were charged with different extremism-related offences unrelated to (and dating from before) the liquidation of the Administrative Centre and the nationwide ban on its activities.

Sentenced in absentia

Ten days after Barmakin's acquittal, two women from Krasnodar Region became the first people to receive custodial sentences since the Supreme Court's amendments to the 2011 decree. On 2 December 2021, Abinsk District Court sentenced Olga Vladimirovna Ponomaryova (born 29 December 1974) and Anna Vladimirovna Yermak (born 13 September 1982), in absentia, to five years and four years and six months respectively.

The judge had suspended proceedings on 28 September 2021 as the defendants had disappeared, according to the court website. Proceedings appear to have resumed in their absence on 1 November 2021. Both women appear on the Interior Ministry's federal wanted list, which states that they are currently in Georgia.

Raids on Jehovah's Witness homes continue

The Investigative Committee, the FSB security service, and the Interior Ministry's Centre for Countering Extremism continue to raid Jehovah's Witness homes, usually accompanied by armed personnel of the National Guard (Rosgvardiya). Recent incidents have included, on 26 November, a raid on six households in Zheleznovodsk (Stavropol Region), after which investigators opened a criminal case against 82-year-old Zinaida Minenko, who is now under travel restrictions.

On 30 November, as part of an investigation in Irkutsk, officers raided the home of 33-year-old Denis Sarazhakov in the village of Askiz (Khakasiya Republic) and that of 34-year-old Igor Popov in Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo Region). Both men were transported over 1500km to Irkutsk to be placed in detention. They appear to be implicated in a criminal case opened in October by the Irkutsk Region Investigative Committee against seven Irkutsk Jehovah's Witnesses.

During initial raids in Irkutsk on 4 October, National Guard troops tortured several people. Under the United Nations (UN) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Russia is obliged both to take into custody any person suspected on good grounds of having committed torture "or take other legal measures to ensure his [sic] presence", and also to try them under criminal law which makes "these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature". No arrests or criminal cases are known to have been launched against those who inflicted the torture.

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CURRENT IMPRISONMENTS

List of those given jail sentences since 2015 after "extremism"-related convictions for exercising freedom of religion or belief. All sentences to be served in general-regime prison camps unless otherwise indicated. All those listed are Jehovah's Witnesses or Muslims who met other Muslims to study Nursi's works.

Convictions have been under these Criminal Code articles:
- Article 282.2 for "organising" (Part 1), or "participating in" (Part 2), "the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity". The majority of convictions have been under this Article;
- Article 282.2, Part 1.1 ("Inclination, recruitment or other involvement of a person in an extremist organisation");
- and Article 282.3, Part 1 ("Financing extremist activity").

There are eight interlocking consequences related to "extremism" investigations and convictions for exercising freedom of religion or belief:

1) during investigation and even if no trial takes place, inclusion on the Rosfinmonitoring "List of Terrorists and Extremists". This blocks bank accounts, and causes for problems in finding formal employment, obtaining insurance, buying and selling property, and a range of other financial activities;

2) if convicted the prison sentence itself, or possible fines;

3) for suspended sentences, the probationary period, which is the time during which any other conviction would send the defendant to prison;

4) for those not given prison or suspended sentences, or fines, a possible period of assigned labour. This may take the form of a paid job in any organisation, as determined by the correctional centre administering the sentence. The assigned work depends on availability and the convicted person has no right to refuse. Officials check on convicted persons' locations at least once a day;

5) a possible period of restrictions on freedom. This normally includes a curfew between particular hours, a ban on visiting certain places, a ban on leaving one's home town, a ban on attendance at or participation in particular events, a ban on changing one's place of residence, work, or study without the probation authorities' permission, and an obligation to register with probation authorities one to four times per month;

6) sudimost, or the state of having an active criminal record. Individuals may face a harsher sentence if prosecuted and convicted again. Individuals are also barred from holding certain jobs in sectors such as education, finance, the police and similar agencies, and the civil service, and from standing for election. Although there is no legal bar on employment in other sectors, many people find it hard to secure formal work after criminal convictions;

7) for those given prison sentences, administrative supervision for all of their period of sudimost. Administrative supervision consists of a set of restrictions on movements and activities, and a requirement to register regularly with the police;

8) and for those convicted under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Parts 1 or 2 either compulsory or discretionary bans on holding particular positions or undertaking particular activities.

When known, the categories and lengths of punishment the individual has been given are recorded in the list below. Dates of release and the ending of restrictions, bans on activities, and sudimost only known after sentence enters legal force (in the vast majority of cases, upon an unsuccessful appeal).

This list is broken down by stage of where punishment has reached, with regional headings referring to where people were tried.

SENTENCES HAVE ENTERED LEGAL FORCE

- Amur Region

Blagoveshchensk City Court
30 June 2021
1) Aleksey Aleksandrovich Berchuk (born 17 November 1975) – 8 years' imprisonment + 18 months' restrictions on freedom + 5-year-and-6-month ban on participation in and leadership of public organisations
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1 (twice)
2) Dmitry Mikhailovich Golik (born 26 March 1987) – 7 years' imprisonment + 15 months' restrictions on freedom + 4-year ban on participation in and leadership of public organisations
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1, 282.2, Part 1.1
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 30 August 2018
Appeal: Berchuk, unsuccessful; Golik, partially successful – Part 1.1 charge dropped and prison term reduced to 6 years and 2 months – both 2 September 2021, Amur Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: 27 May 2029 (Berchuk), 29 July 2027 (Golik)
Restrictions due to end: 27 November 2030 (Berchuk), 29 October 2028 (Golik)
Ban on activities: 27 May 2029 to 27 November 2034 (Berchuk), 29 July 2027 to 29 July 2031 (Golik)
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 27 November 2038 (Berchuk), 29 October 2036 (Golik)
Prison addresses: unknown

- Republic of Dagestan

Izberbash City Court
28 May 2018
3) Ilgar Vagif-ogly Aliyev (Muslim - born 16 February 1977)
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 30 August 2018
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1; 282.2, Part 1.1
Punishments: 8 years' imprisonment + 2 years' restrictions on freedom
Appeal: unsuccessful - 25 July 2018, Supreme Court of the Republic of Dagestan
Due for release from prison: approximately September 2024
Restrictions on freedom due to end: approximately September 2026
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: approximately September 2034
Prison address: 410086, Saratovskaya oblast, g. Saratov, Peschano-Umetsky trakt, p. Yelshanka, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 33 UFSIN Rossii po Saratovskoy oblasti

- Kemerovo Region

Beryozovsky City Court
2 September 2020
4) Sergey Alekseyevich Britvin (born 18 August 1965) - 4 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding particular positions
5) Vadim Anatolyevich Levchuk (born 6 February 1972) - 4 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding particular positions
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 22 November 2018
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 19 January 2021, Kemerovo Regional Court
Due for release from prison (Britvin and Levchuk): 1 January 2022
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 1 January 2023
Ban on activities: 1 January 2023 to 1 January 2026
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 1 January 2031
Prison address: 630097, Novosibirskaya oblast, g. Novosibirsk, ul. Zvyozdnaya 34, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 3 UFSIN Rossii po Novosibirskoy oblasti

- Khakasiya Republic

Abakan City Court
24 February 2021
6) Roman Lyubomirovich Baranovsky (born 27 June 1974) - 6 years' imprisonment + 18 months' restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1
7) Valentina Ivanovna Baranovskaya (born 8 April 1951) - 2 years' imprisonment + 6 months' restrictions on freedom
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 2
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 31 August 2021
Appeal: unsuccessful - 24 May 2021, Supreme Court of the Khakassiya Republic
Due for release from prison: Baranovsky – 10 January 2027; Baranovskaya – 10 January 2023
Restrictions on freedom due to end: Baranovsky – 10 July 2028; Baranovskaya – 10 July 2023
Ban on activities: Baranovsky – 10 January 2027 to 10 January 2032
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: Baranovsky – 10 July 2036; Baranovskaya – 10 July 2031
Prison addresses: Baranovsky – 672000, Zabaykalsky kray, g. Chita, Udgansky proyezd 61, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 3 po Zabaykalskomu krayu; Baranovskaya – 655100, Respublika Khakasiya, pgt. Ust-Abakan, kv-l. Podgorniy 13, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 28 UFSIN Rossii po Respublike Khakasiya

- Krasnodar Region

Abinsk District Court
10 February 2021
8) Aleksandr Yevgenyevich Ivshin (born 21 August 1957) - 7 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities (plus destruction of Bible – in an edition not banned as extremist)
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: never
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 15 April 2021, Krasnodar Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 14 April 2028
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 14 April 2029
Ban on activities: 14 April 2029 to 14 April 2034
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 14 April 2037
Prison address: 344033, Rostovskaya oblast, g. Rostov-na-Donu, per. Kazachiy 22, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 10 UFSIN Rossii po Rostovskoy oblasti
Abinsk District Court
30 March 2021
9) Oleg Ivanovich Danilov (born 22 April 1974) - 3 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: never
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Appeal: unsuccessful - 25 May 2021, Krasnodar Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 1 March 2024
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 1 March 2025
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 1 March 2033
Prison address: 352680, Krasnodarskiy kray, Apsheronskiy rayon, g. Khadyzhensk, ul. Griboyedova 42, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 9 UFSIN Rossii po Krasnodarskomu krayu
Abinsk District Court
6 April 2021
10) Aleksandr Anatolyevich Shcherbina (born 11 March 1976) - 3 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: never
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Appeal: partially successful – prison term reduced to 2 years, 24 June 2021, Krasnodar Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 24 February 2023
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 24 February 2024
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 24 February 2032
Prison address: 347810, Rostovskaya oblast, g. Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, ul. Morskaya 94, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 12 UFSIN Rossii po Rostovskoy oblasti
Abinsk District Court
11 August 2021
11) Vasily Vladimirovich Meleshko (born 30 January 1961) – 3 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 22 September 2021
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Appeal: unsuccessful – 7 October 2021, Krasnodar Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: mid July 2024
Restrictions on freedom due to end: mid July 2025
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: mid July 2033
Prison address: unknown

- Krasnoyarsk Region

Railway District Court, Krasnoyarsk
3 June 2021
12) Andrey Garafetanovich Stupnikov (born 17 September 1973) - 6 years' imprisonment + 18 months' restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 20 June 2019
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful – 7 September 2021, Krasnoyarsk Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: 18 February 2026
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 18 August 2027
Ban on activities: 18 February 2026 to 18 February 2031
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 18 August 2035
Last known detention centre address: 660075, Krasnoyarskiy kray, g. Krasnoyarsk, ul. Respubliki 72, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 1 UFSIN Rossii po Krasnoyarskomu krayu

- Novosibirsk Region

Lenin District Court, Novosibirsk
16 December 2020
13) Yury Prokopyevich Savelyov (born 1 January 1954) - 6 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding particular positions
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 18 December 2018
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 5 April 2021, Novosibirsk Regional Court; case returned to appeal court for re-examination – 24 November 2021, 8th Cassational Court, Kemerovo
Due for release from prison: 27 August 2023
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 27 August 2024
Ban on activities: 27 August 2023 to 27 August 2026
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 27 August 2032
Prison address: 658209, Altaysky kray, g. Rubtsovsk, ul. Traktornaya 23, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 5 UFSIN Rossii po Altayskomu krayu

- Omsk Region

Pervomaysky District Court, Omsk
30 November 2020
14) Sergey Valeryevich Polyakov (born 28 April 1972) - 3 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions + 5-year ban on participating in public organisations
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 15 August 2018
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1 and 282.3, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 28 May 2021, Omsk Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 30 November 2022
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 30 November 2023
Ban on activities: 30 November 2022 to 30 November 2027
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 30 November 2031
Prison address: 375400, Novgorodskaya oblast, g. Valday, prospekt Vasilyeva 84, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 4 FSIN Rossii po Novgorodskoy oblasti
Three fellow defendants were tried under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 and given two-year suspended sentences.

- Oryol Region

Railway District Court, Oryol
6 February 2019
15) Dennis Ole Christensen (born 18 December 1972 - Danish citizen) - 6 years' imprisonment
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List:
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 23 May 2019, Oryol Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 24 May 2022
Restrictions on freedom due to end: none
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 24 May 2030
Prison address: 307754 Kurskaya oblast, g. Lgov, ul. Primakova 23A, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 3 UFSIN Rossii po Kurskoy oblasti
Christensen has attempted unsuccessfully to gain early release. A court ruling of 23 June 2020, which replaced his remaining term with a fine, was challenged by prosecutors, and Christensen's request was turned down on re-examination on 26 October 2020 (this decision was upheld at Kursk Regional Court on 10 February 2021).

- Rostov Region

Lenin District Court, Rostov-on-Don
29 July 2021
16) Arsen Vilenovich Avanesov (born 24 September 1983) – 6 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities
17) Vilen Shagenovich Avanesov (born 22 October 1952) – 6 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities
18) Aleksandr Mikhailovich Parkov (born 5 September 1967) – 6 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 13 June 2019
Appeal: unsuccessful – 6 December 2021, Rostov Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: Vilen Avanesov – approx. March 2024; Parkov and Arsen Avanesov – approx. September 2024
Restrictions due to end: Vilen Avanesov – approx. March 2025; Parkov and Arsen Avanesov – approx. September 2025
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: Vilen Avanesov – approx. March 2033; Parkov and Arsen Avanesov – approx. September 2033
Detention centre address: 346408, Rostovskaya oblast, g. Novocherkassk, ul Ukrainskaya 1, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 3 UFSIN Rossii po Rostovskoy oblasti

- Saratov Region

Lenin District Court, Saratov
20 May 2021
19) Rustam Atayevich Seidkuliyev (born 17 July 1977) - 2 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 10 September 2021
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Appeal: partially successful – prison term reduced to 2 years and 4 months, 5 August 2021, Saratov Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: 2 April 2023
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 2 April 2024
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 2 April 2031
Prison address: 410086, Saratovskaya oblast, g. Saratov, p. Yelshanka, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 33 UFSIN Rossii po Saratovskoy oblasti

- Tomsk Region

October District Court, Tomsk
5 November 2019
20) Sergey Gennadyevich Klimov (born 26 March 1970) - 6 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restriction on freedom + 5-year ban on any educational activity and posting material on the internet
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 20 June 2018
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 February 2020, Tomsk Regional Court
Due for release from prison: 24 July 2023
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 24 July 2024
Ban on activities: 24 July 2023 to 24 July 2028
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 24 July 2031
Prison address: 414044 Astrakhanskaya oblast, g. Astrakhan, ul. Sovetskoy Gvardii 50, FKU Ispravitelnaya koloniya No. 8 UFSIN Rossii po Astrakhanskoy oblasti

SENTENCED TO IMPRISONMENT - DETAINED OR UNDER HOUSE ARREST AWAITING APPEAL

- Astrakhan Region

Trusovsky District Court, Astrakhan
25 October 2021
1) Rustam Gennadyevich Diarov (born 13 August 1973) – 8 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding official positions in public organisations
2) Yevgeny Borisovich Ivanov (born 15 December 1976) – 8 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding official positions in public organisations
3) Sergey Aleksandrovich Klikunov (born 20 May 1975) – 8 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding official positions in public organisations
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1, 282.3, Part 1
4) Olga Aleksandrovna Ivanova (born 19 December 1982) – 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding official positions in public organisations
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 2 July 2020
Appeal: lodged at Astrakhan Regional Court – date unknown
Due to be released from prison: unknown
Restrictions due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
Detention centre address: 414000, Astrakhanskaya oblast, g. Narimanov, ul. Beregovaya 7, FKU Sledsvenniy izolyator No. 2 UFSIN Rossii po Astrakhanskoy oblasti (Ivanova); 414000, Astrakhanskaya oblast, g. Astrakhan, ul. Burova/Burovskiy per. 2/2, FKU Sledsvenniy izolyator No. 1 UFSIN Rossii po Astrakhanskoy oblasti (others)

- Kostroma Region

Sverdlovsk District Court, Kostroma
6 September 2021
5) Dmitry Sergeyevich Terebilov (born 2 January 1980) – 3 years' imprisonment in strict-regime prison camp; 1 year's restrictions on freedom
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 2
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 19 September 2019
Appeal: due to be heard on 20 December 2021, Kostroma Regional Court
Due to be released from prison: unknown
Restrictions due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
Detention centre address: 156005, Kostromskaya oblasti, g. Kostroma, ul. Sovetskaya 88, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 1 UFSIN Rossii po Kostromsky oblasti

- Kursk Region

Promyshlenny District Court, Kursk
3 June 2021
6) Andrey Leonidovich Andreyev (born 12 October 1976) - 4 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on particular activities
7) Andrey Vladimirovich Ryshkov (born 6 May 1987) - 3 years' imprisonment + 6 months' restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on particular activities
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 19 February 2020
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1 and 282.2, Part 2, respectively
Appeal: due to be heard on 16 December 2021, Kursk Regional Court
Due to be released from detention/prison: Ryshkov – mid February 2022 if appeal unsuccessful; Andreyev - unknown
Restrictions on freedom due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
Detention centre address: 305016, Kurskaya oblast, g. Kursk, ul. Pirogova 1, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 1 UFSIN Rossii po Kurskoy oblasti
Tried alongside Aleksandr Vospitanyuk, who received a two-year suspended sentence, and Alevtina and Artyom Bagratyan, who also received prison terms but were released soon after sentencing (see below).

- Krasnodar Region

Pavlovskaya District Court
11 October 2021
8) Vladimir Yuryevich Skachidub (born 4 December 1961) – 4 years and 2 months' imprisonment + 2 years' restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on particular activities
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List:
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1.1, 282.2, Part 2
Appeal: lodged at Krasnodar Regional Court – date unknown
Due to be released from prison: unknown
Restrictions due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
Detention centre address: 350001, Krasnodarskiy kray, g. Krasnodar, ul. Voronezhskaya 42, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 1 UFSIN Rossii po Krasnodarskomu krayu

- Volgograd Region

Traktorzavodsky District Court, Volgograd
23 September 2021
9) Sergey Nikolayevich Melnik (born 29 June 1972) – 6 years' imprisonment + unknown restrictions on freedom + unknown ban on activities
10) Igor Artyomovich Yegozaryan (born 17 January 1965) – 6 years' imprisonment + unknown restrictions on freedom + unknown ban on activities
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
11) Denis Petrovich Peresunko (11 March 1978) – 6 years and 3 months' imprisonment + unknown restrictions on freedom + unknown ban on activities
12) Valery Anatolyevich Rogozin (born 25 March 1962) – 6 years and 5 months' imprisonment + unknown restrictions on freedom + unknown ban on activities
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1, 282.3, Part 1
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 19 September 2019
Appeal: lodged at Volgograd Regional Court – date unknown
Due to be released from prison: unknown
Restrictions due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 8 years after restrictions end
Detention centre address: 403532, Volgogradskaya oblast, g. Frolovo, ul. Khleborobnaya 107/1, FKU Sledstvenniy izolyator No. 3 UFSIN Rossii po Volgogradskoy oblasti

DEPORTED FOLLOWING IMPRISONMENT

These individuals are therefore not subject to Russian restrictions post-release.

- Saratov Region

Lenin District Court, Saratov
19 September 2019
Konstantin Bazhenov (in white jacket) arrives at migration detention centre, Dimitrovgrad, 5 May 2021
Jehovah's Witnesses
1) Konstantin Viktorovich Bazhenov (born 10 May 1975) - 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom +5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
2) Feliks Khasanovich Makhammadiyev (born 14 December 1984) - 3 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom +5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 11 December 2019
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 December 2019, Saratov Regional Court
Tried alongside Aleksey Budenchuk, Gennady German, Roman Gridasov, and Aleksey Miretsky, who have also been released and remain in Russia (see below).
Bazhenov was released early from Labour Camp No. 3 in Dmitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk Region) on 5 May 2021 and sent to a migration detention centre - deported to Ukraine on 19 May 2021.
(Bazhenov in Saratov should not be confused with fellow Jehovah's Witness Konstantin Aleksandrovich Bazhenov from Kamchatka, given a two-year suspended sentence in September 2020.)
Makhammadiyev was released from Labour Camp No. 1 in Orenburg on 31 December 2020 at the end of his sentence and sent to a migration detention centre - deported to Uzbekistan on 21 January 2021.

RELEASED BUT UNDER RESTRICTIONS/SUPERVISION

This section includes both those who have completed their sentences in prison camps and those who were released at or shortly after sentencing as they were deemed to have already served their terms in detention and under house arrest.

- Amur Region

Blagoveshchensk City Court
19 June 2017
1) Yevgeny Lvovich Kim (Muslim - born 5 October 1974) - 3 years and 9 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom (lifted on appeal)
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: between 14 March and 6 April 2016
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1, and 282, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful (but post-release restrictions lifted) – 24 August 2017, Amur Regional Court
Released from prison: 10 April 2019
Restrictions on freedom: none
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 10 April 2027
Railway District Court, Khabarovsk
10 April 2019
Fined under Administrative Code Article 18.8, Part 1 for failing to have documentation (after his citizenship was removed and his passport seized) and ordered deported. Kim spent more than two years in an immigration detention centre in Khabarovsk as his birthplace of Uzbekistan refused to accept him.
Released from immigration detention: 31 May 2021
On 28 October 2020, Kim applied unsuccessfully for cancellation of his criminal record (snyatiye sudimosti). On 13 March 2021, the Constitutional Court refused to consider an appeal lodged on Kim's behalf by Institute for Law and Public Policy lodged, which questioned the constitutionality of Administrative Code Article 18.8, Part 1.1 ("Violation by a foreign citizen or stateless person of the residence regime of the Russian Federation, expressed in the absence of documents confirming the right to reside in the Russian Federation") and Article 3.10, Part 5, which gives judges the right to detain people before deportation but does not impose any time limit. Kim's legal position remains uncertain.

- Bryansk Region

Novozybkov City Court
3 September 2020
2) Vladimir Aleksandrovich Khokhlov (born 9 April 1977) - 1 year and 3 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding particular positions
3) Tatyana Viktorovna Shamsheva (born 7 June 1977) - 1 year's imprisonment + 6 months' restrictions on freedom + 2-year ban on holding particular positions
4) Olga Sergeyevna Silayeva (born 11 May 1988) - 1 year's imprisonment + 6 months' restrictions on freedom + 2-year ban on holding particular positions
5) Eduard Vladimirovich Zhinzhikov (born 9 November 1971) - 1 year and 3 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on holding particular positions
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: Shamsheva and Silayeva – 10 October 2019; Khokhlov and Zhinzhikov – 11 December 2019
Criminal Code Articles: 282.2, Part 1, 282.3, Part 1 (Khokhlov and Zhinzhikov); 282.2, Part 2 (Shamsheva and Silayeva)
Appeal: unsuccessful - 28 October 2020, Bryansk Regional Court
Released from the courtroom: 3 September 2020 – the two women had already served 245 days and the two men 316 days in detention before conviction
Restrictions ended: Shamsheva and Silayeva – 28 April 2021; Khokhlov and Zhinzhikov – 28 October 2021
Ban on activities: Shamsheva and Silayeva – 28 October 2020 to 28 October 2022; Khokhlov and Zhinzhikov – 28 October 2020 to 28 October 2023
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: Shamsheva and Silayeva – 28 April 2029; Khokhlov and Zhinzhikov – 28 October 2029

- Dagestan Republic

Lenin District Court, Makhachkala
7 November 2017
6) Ziyavdin Badirsoltanovich Dapayev (born 12 May 1982) – 4 years' imprisonment
7) Artur Abdulgamidovich Kaltuyev (born 15 June 1986) – 3 years' imprisonment
8) Sukhrab Abdulgamidovich Kaltuyev (born 13 November 1981) – 3 years' imprisonment
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: between 14 March and 6 April 2016
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful – 10 January 2018, Supreme Court of Dagestan
Released from prison: summer 2019 (Dapayev, Sukhrab Kaltuyev), summer 2020 (Artur Kaltuyev)
Restrictions on freedom: none
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: summer 2027 (Dapayev, Sukhrab Kaltuyev), summer 2028 (Artur Kaltuyev); Sukhrab Kaltuyev has left Russia

- Krasnodar Region

Khostinsky District Court, Sochi
18 December 2020
9) Nikolay Nikolayevich Kuzichkin (born 28 February 1951) - 1 year and 1 month + unknown restrictions + unknown ban on activities
10) Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Popov (born 19 September 1974) - 1 year and 10 months + unknown restrictions + unknown ban on activities
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 1 April 2020
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: none
Released: Kuzichkin – 18 December 2020, from the courtroom; Popov – 29 December 2020, from detention (defendants considered to have served terms; sentences came into force on 28 December 2020)
Restrictions on freedom due to end: unknown
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to to end: 28 December 2028

- Kursk Region

Promyshlenny District Court, Kursk
3 June 2021
11) Artyom Babkenovich Bagratyan (born 9 May 1972) - 2 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 6 months' restrictions on freedom + 3-year ban on particular activities
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 19 February 2020
Released from detention: 15 June 2021 (term considered served in detention)
Restrictions on freedom due to end: unknown as appeal pending
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
12) Alevtina Mikhailovna Bagratyan (born 25 July 1977) - 2 years' imprisonment + 6 months' detention + 3-year ban on particular activities
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 19 February 2020
Released from house arrest: 12 June 2021 (term considered served in detention and under house arrest)
Restrictions on freedom due to end: unknown as appeal pending
Ban on activities: unknown
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: unknown
Appeal: due to be heard on 16 December 2021, Kursk Regional Court
Tried alongside Aleksandr Vospitanyuk, who received a two-year suspended sentence, and Aleksandr Ryshkov and Andrey Andreyev, who also received prison terms and are still in detention awaiting appeal (see above).

- Novosibirsk Region

Lenin District Court, Novosibirsk
29 June 2018
13) Komil Odilovich Odilov (born 18 August 1975) – 2 years' imprisonment
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List:
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: none
Released from prison: 25 March 2019
Restrictions on freedom: none
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 25 March 2027

- Saratov Region

Lenin District Court, Saratov
19 September 2019
14) Aleksey Vladimirovich Budenchuk (born 27 July 1982) - 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
Released from prison: 6 July 2021
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 6 July 2022
Ban on activities: 6 July 2021 to 6 July 2026
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 6 July 2030
15) Gennady Vasilyevich German (born 12 June 1969) - 2 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
16) Roman Aleksandrovich Gridasov (16 September 1978) – 2 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
Released from prison: 29 July 2021 (both)
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 29 July 2022
Ban on activities: 29 July 2021 to 29 July 2026
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 29 July 2030
17) Aleksey Petrovich Miretsky (born 14 December 1975) - 2 years' imprisonment + 1 year's restrictions on freedom + 5-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations
Released from prison: 3 August 2021
Restrictions on freedom due to end: 3 August 2022
Ban on activities: 3 August 2021 to 3 August 2026
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: 3 August 2030
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 11 December 2019
Appeal: unsuccessful - 20 December 2019, Saratov Regional Court
Convicted alongside Konstantin Viktorovich Bazhenov and Feliks Khasanovich Makhammadiyev, who have been released and deported (see above).

- Ulyanovsk Region

Lenin District Court, Ulyanovsk
25 February 2015
18) Bagir Kurbanovich Kazikhanov (born 9 September 1983) – 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment + possible unknown restrictions on freedom
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: 18 February 2015
Criminal Code Article: 282.2, Part 1
Appeal: unsuccessful – 13 May 2015, Ulyanovsk Regional Court
Released from prison: approx. early December 2017
Restrictions on freedom: unknown
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost, administrative supervision, and inclusion on Rosfinmonitoring List due to end: approx. early December 2025
Kazikhanov was convicted alongside two fellow Muslims who received suspended sentences under Article 282.2, Part 2. He left Russia immediately after his release from prison.

SENTENCED TO IMPRISONMENT IN ABSENTIA

- Krasnodar Region

Abinsk District Court
2 December 2021
1) Olga Vladimirovna Ponomaryova (born 29 December 1974) - 5 years' imprisonment
2) Anna Vladimirovna Yermak (born 13 September 1982) - 4 years and 6 months' imprisonment
Criminal Code Article: 282.2 Part 1.1
Added to Rosfinmonitoring List: never
Appeal: unknown
Due for release from prison: n/a
Restrictions on freedom: none
Ban on activities: none
Sudimost due to end: unknown
Abinsk District Court suspended proceedings on 28 September 2021 as the defendants had disappeared, according to the court website; proceedings appear to have resumed in their absence on 1 November 2021. Both women appear on the Interior Ministry's federal wanted list, which states that they are currently in Georgia.

(END)

Full reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Russia.

For more background see Forum 18's survey of the general state of freedom of religion and belief in Russia, as well as Forum 18's survey of the dramatic decline in this freedom related to Russia's Extremism Law.

A personal commentary by the Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, Alexander Verkhovsky, about the systemic problems of Russian "anti-extremism" laws.

Forum 18's compilation of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) freedom of religion or belief commitments.

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