Photo source: zestmarina /

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Three believers arrested in Magadan region

Magadan Region

On May 30, 2018, Konstantin Petrov, 31, Yevgeny Zyablov, 41, and Sergey Yerkin, 65, were arrested in Magadan on suspicion of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. Searches were conducted.

The searches were carried out by FSB officers accompanied by armed masked special forces. The case is being conducted by an investigation team, including investigators Amerkhan Aspiev and Alexander Chuprina. During the searches, electronic devices, bank cards, books from the personal library were seized.

The believers are kept in a temporary detention center. The issue of the measure of restraint for detainees must be decided by the Magadan City Court no later than June 1, 2018.

Russian law enforcement officers mistakenly mistake the joint religion of citizens for participation in an extremist organization and bring charges against them of "organizing" or "participating" in "extremist activities", and even of "financing" it (282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Case of Puyda and Others in Magadan

Case History
After a series of searches in Magadan in May 2018, Konstantin Petrov, Yevgeny Zyablov and Sergey Yerkin were placed in a pre-trial detention center. On the same day in Khabarovsk, Ivan Puyda was searched. He was arrested and then taken 1600 km away to the Magadan pre-trial detention center. The believers spent two to four months behind bars, and then were placed under house arrest. In March 2019, the FSB conducted another series of searches. The number of defendants in the case later reached 13, including six women, including the elderly. The investigator regarded the holding of peaceful worship services as organizing the activities of an extremist organization, participating in it and financing it. In almost four years of investigation, the case against 13 believers grew to 66 volumes. It went to court in March 2022. At the hearings, it became clear that the case was based on the testimony of a secret witness - an FSB informant who kept secret records of peaceful worship. In March 2024, the believers were given suspended sentences from 3 to 7 years.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Magadan Region
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)
Court case number:
May 30, 2018
Current case stage:
verdict did not take effect
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Magadan Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
1–6/2024 (1-12/2023, 1-220/2022)
Court of First Instance:
Магаданский городской суд Магаданской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Татьяна Белаева
Case History