Illustrative photo

Criminal Investigation and Trial

In Astrakhan, the Believer Sergey Klikunov Was Sent to the Pre-Trial Detention Center for Two Months Because of His Religious Views

Astrakhan Region

On June 11, 2020, the Kirov District Court of Astrakhan, chaired by judge Olga Ivanova, ruled to imprison Sergey Klikunov, 45, for 2 months. It is still unknown what happens to the three other believers, detained during mass searches in Astrakhan on June 9.

The criminal case against Sergey Klikunov, Rustam Diarov, Evgeniy Ivanov and his wife, Olga, was initiated on June 8 by the senior investigator for investigation of especially important cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Astrakhan region, N. P. Banko. The next day a series of searches in the houses of believers took place. Klikunov, Diarov and Ivanov are charged under part 1 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of extremist activities). Olga Ivanova (namesake of the judge) is also charged under article 282.2, part 2 (organization of extremist activities).

The decision of the Kirovskiy district court notes that Sergey Klikunov is married and positively characterized at his workplace, which paradoxically "indicates the possibility of the suspect to hide from the investigation.”

The only reason for persecution of civilians in Astrakhan is their faith in God Jehovah. Law scholars and human rights activists both in Russia and abroad unanimously condemn the actions of the authorities towards Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.

The Case of Ivanov and Others in Astrakhan

Case History
In June 2020, the investigation in Astrakhan initiated a criminal case against Sergey Klikunov, Rustam Diarov, Yevgeniy Ivanov and his wife, Olga, under an article for extremism. A series of searches took place the next day. After that, the four believers were placed in custody. Three days later, Olga Ivanova was placed under house arrest. From June 2021, the case against the believers was heard in court. The court sentenced Yevgeniy, Sergey and Rustam to 8 years in a penal colony, and Olga to 3.5 years imprisonment. The court of appeal upheld this decision in February 2022, and 10 months later, the court of cassation even toughened the punishment, banning the believers from leaving Astrakhan after serving their sentence. In June 2024, Olga Ivanova was released.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Astrakhan Region
Suspected of:
According to the investigation, "they continued to organize meetings, knowingly knowing that its activities were banned ... They carried out propaganda of the superiority of religious teachings over other persons and were engaged in the distribution of extremist literature."
Court case number:
June 8, 2020
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Astrakhan Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1), 282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Трусовский районный суд г. Астрахани
Алексей Сёмин
Case History