Darya Dulova, Venera Dulova and Aleksandr Pryanikov outside the Court of Cassation in Chelyabinsk, November 9, 2023

Unjust Verdicts

The fourth appeal released Darya Dulova from criminal liability due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The verdict to the remaining defendants in the case came into force

Sverdlovsk Region

On February 8, 2024, the Sverdlovsk Regional Court considered the case of Aleksandr Pryanikov and Venera and Daria Dulova for the fourth time. Now the appellate court has approved the suspended sentences for Alexander and Venera (two and a half and two years suspended, respectively) and released Darya from criminal liability.

The court explained its decision by the fact that during the period imputed to the guilt, Darya Dulova was 17 years old, and in this case the statute of limitations is five years (Article 78 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). It expired in June 2023. The complaints of the defendants and the decision of the prosecutor were dismissed by the panel of judges. Believers do not agree with the verdict and deny guilt in extremism.

For four and a half years, three verdicts were passed in the case of believers from Karpinsk: two guilty ones and acquittal. The first instance considered the case twice, the appellate court four times, and the cassation court twice. The process reached the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Since 2021, another case against the Dulovs and Pryanikov has been considered in court, also on charges of extremism.

The European Court of Human Rights recognized that the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is illegal and ruled in their favor in June 2022.

Case of Prianikov and Others in Karpinsk

Case History
In June 2018, Venera Dulova and Aleksandr Pryanikov were detained for talking about the Bible. A criminal case was opened against them under an extremist article. A year later, Daria Dulova became the third defendant in the case. In January 2020, they were sentenced to suspended sentences ranging from 1 year to 2.5 years. An appeal in Yekaterinburg overturned the verdict and returned the case to the court of first instance. This time, the prosecutor requested a more severe punishment, but the court duplicated the first verdict. In March 2022, the appellate court again overturned the verdict, acquitting the believers. The cassation court did not change this decision. However, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation overturned it in March 2023 and returned the case to the appeal stage, which returned the case to the prosecutor’s office, after which the cassation sent it for a new appeal hearing. A fourth appellate decision upheld the convictions of Aleksandr and Venera. Daria is exempt from criminal liability, as the statute of limitations has expired. All three believers are defendants in another criminal case for their faith.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Sverdlovsk Region
Suspected of:
"Within the jurisdiction of the city of Karpinsk... together with a group of people, being fully aware that the religious organization Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia was declared extremist and its activities in the Russian Federation were prohibited, [he] participated in its activities by directly taking part in events, carrying out propaganda of its activities, familiarizing with religious literature."
Court case number:
July 30, 2018
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
СО в г. Краснотурьинске СУ Следственного комитета РФ по Свердловской области
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
1-11/2021 (1-184/2020; 1-5/2020; 1-167/2019)
Карпинский городской суд Свердловской области
Case History