Case of Danilov in Kholmskaya

Case history

Oleg Danilov was searched twice, in April and December 2020, because of his faith in Jehovah God. For the first time, the security forces did not find anything forbidden on the believer, but in November 2020, the FSB opened a criminal case against him under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for participating in “religious teaching and sermons” and “collective discussion of the Bible.” The investigation was conducted by O. I. Komissarov, who also handled the case of Alexander Ivshin. On March 23, 2021, the judge of the Abinsk District Court of the Krasnodar Territory, Olga Khomchenkova, held the first hearing in the case of Danilov, and on March 29, the prosecutor requested a sentence of 3 years in prison for him. This is the punishment the court imposed on the believer. The Krasnodar Regional Court upheld the verdict. Danilov was placed in a colony in the city of Khadyzhensk, and later transferred to a colony in the village of Akhtarsky, where the administration infringes on his rights and unreasonably applies penalties. In June 2022, the court of cassation upheld the verdict.

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    April 29, 2020

    The home of 46-year-old Oleg Danilov is being searched. Law enforcement officers do not find anything forbidden. Mobile phones, a book by religious scholar Sergei Ivanenko "About People Who Never Part with the Bible", personal notes, and a yellow envelope are seized from the believer.

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    November 12, 2020

    O. I. Komissarov, investigator of the 2nd branch of the Krasnodar Territory Directorate of the FSB, initiates a criminal case under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against Oleg Danilov. The believer is charged with participating "in religious teaching and sermons ... through information and telecommunication networks, ... entered into discussions in a collective discussion of the Bible, ... read aloud to other participants the religious books "Jehovah's Witnesses", emphasizing that these books contain true knowledge about God ...

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    December 2, 2020

    At 6 a.m., the security forces conducted a second search in Oleg Danilov's home.

    Lieutenant of Justice L. B. Galustyants, with the participation of Captain Stanislav Bochin, senior detective of the FSB Directorate for the Krasnodar Territory, and Ivan Lysov, an operative of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Abinsk District, have been looking for SIM cards and bank documents for 6 hours, which, in their opinion, will indicate the involvement of believers in the activities of banned legal entities of Jehovah's Witnesses. Electronic devices and Bibles, personal records, photographs and documents, postcards with the name of Jehovah God are seized from the Danilovs. In the children's room, law enforcement officers find and seize a sketchbook and diaries. Due to the refusal of a minor child to unlock the phone, the investigator threatens him with problems in the educational institution.

    Then Oleg Danilov was taken to the Investigative District of the Investigative Committee of the Abinsk District, where for an hour he was interrogated by investigator Galustyants as an accused. All investigative actions on this day last 13 hours. The believer is placed on recognizance not to leave. It can only move within the Abinsk district.

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    January 4, 2021

    Oleg Danilov and his lawyer get acquainted with the materials of the criminal case due to the end of the investigative actions.

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    February 5, 2021

    The prosecutor of the Abinsk district I. V. Kosolapov approves the indictment in the case of Oleg Danilov. The evidence supporting the accusation is the information obtained in the course of operational-search activities.

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    March 23, 2021

    Judge of the Abinsk District Court Olga Khomchenkova begins to consider the criminal case against Oleg Danilov. The believer expresses his attitude to the accusation, in which he notes that his religious views are exclusively peaceful in nature and "directly opposite to what is called extremism." He believes that the charges against him do not meet the requirements of the law. "I am actually accused of believing in God and remaining Jehovah's Witness," the believer declares.

    Witnesses for the prosecution are being questioned, including the ataman of the village of Kholmskaya, where Danilov lives, and a district inspector. Both have nothing bad to say about the defendant. FSB officer Bochin cites a poster with biblical quotes and homemade postcards as proof of "extremism".

    About 50 people come to the courthouse to support Oleg Danilov, whose police officers rewrite their passport data.

    The final debate of the parties is scheduled for the next meeting, on March 29. Thus, the judge allocated no more than a week for the entire process.

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    March 29, 2021 Prosecutor requested punishment

    The prosecutor asks the court to sentence Oleg Danilov to imprisonment in a general regime colony for a period of 3 years.

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    March 30, 2021 Final statement First Instance Sentence

    Oleg Danilov speaks in court with the last word: "I don't know what the prosecutor expected from me: that I would renounce my faith or renounce my friends and my God? For me, this is unthinkable, impossible. I would prefer to remain faithful and free in my beliefs, even if not at large."

    Judge Olga Khomchenkova announces the verdict: 3 years in a penal colony. The believer was found guilty of participating in the activities of an extremist organization (Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

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    March 31, 2021
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    May 25, 2021 Court of Appeal

    The Krasnodar Regional Court upholds the verdict of the court of first instance: 3 years in a general regime colony and 1 year of restriction of freedom.

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    May 26, 2021

    It becomes known that Oleg Danilov left pre-trial detention center No. 3 in the Krasnodar Territory. He was transferred. Relatives are trying to establish where exactly.

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    May 27, 2021 Life in prison

    It becomes known that Oleg Danilov was transferred to colony No. 9 in the city of Khadyzhensk. He can receive letters of support.

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    June 1, 2021 Life in prison

    His wife and mother visit Oleg Danilov in the penal colony. They are given the opportunity to communicate for almost 3 hours. According to the believer, he was sick recently, but now he feels better thanks to the care of relatives and friends - they give him food and other necessary things. Despite the requests of the believer, the doctor did not examine him, did not carry out treatment.

    Oleg is being held in the same cell with fellow believer Aleksandr Shcherbina and two other prisoners. They are allowed to walk in the fresh air every day for an hour and a half. Oleg has a Bible, although in one of the transit pre-trial detention centers they tried to take it away.

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    September 10, 2021 Life in prison

    Oleg Danilov was transferred to correctional colony No. 11 in the Krasnodar Territory. The information is being specified.

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    September 17, 2021 Life in prison

    The lawyer visits Oleg Danilov, who is in quarantine after arriving at the colony. The believer is kept in a 13-bed cell. He has good relations with his cellmates. Oleg is allowed to make a phone call to his family.

    In general, Oleg is healthy, he learned to fight colds with folk remedies. Reading the Bible helps him stay emotionally alert. Letters of support are received by the colony, but they have not yet been handed over to the addressee.

    The administration of the colony reprimanded him twice. Details are being specified.

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    October 10, 2021 Life in prison

    It becomes known that Oleg Danilov was arbitrarily placed in a punishment cell. Later, the believer's detention in the punishment cell was extended for 15 days without explanation.

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    December 1, 2021 Life in prison

    It becomes known that from September 25 to November 2, 2021, Oleg Danilov was in a punishment cell, after which he was placed in solitary confinement. After November 2, 2021, the believer was transferred to serve his sentence in strict conditions of detention.

    Natalia Danilova sends an appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Krasnodar Territory, Sergey Valentinovich Myshak. The believer's wife asks him to pay attention to the arbitrary toughening of punishment for her husband, which is imposed by the staff of colony No. 11 in the Krasnodar Territory. Nataliya writes: "A peaceful, kind, conflict-free man, a responsible, honest worker, a wonderful father and a wonderful husband was condemned only because he was one of Jehovah's Witnesses. In his case there are no victims, no victims, no damage caused. There are no signs of extremism as such, but only the fact of professing one's faith. But this destroys all confidence in the legal system, kills the sense of security, undermines confidence in the Constitution as a guarantor of rights and freedoms."

    Natalia Danilova also notes: "Immediately after his arrival, while still in quarantine, he was told that he would be sent to the SUS due to the severity of his article ... I wrote a petition for verification to the prosecutor's office for supervision, to which I was told that the detention in the punishment cell was legal and justified. But how can a decision on punishment taken in advance, before the actions committed, be justified?

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    December 14, 2021

    Oleg Danilov's detention in the punishment cell is extended for another 12 days. However, on the same day, without any explanation, Danilov was transferred to a medical facility in the colony for examination.

    While Natalia Danilova's appeal is under consideration, she still cannot transfer the necessary things and products to her husband.

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    December 28, 2021 Life in prison

    Danilov is discharged from the prison hospital and returned to strict conditions of detention.

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    January 19, 2022 Life in prison

    A lawyer visits Oleg Danilov, who is serving time for his faith. The believer has a Bible, as well as the ability to keep in touch with loved ones by phone.

    Danilov is held in strict conditions, he stayed in the punishment cell for about 2.5 months due to continuous penalties from the colony administration.

    Among the reasons why he was placed in the punishment cell and in solitary confinement are the failure to perform morning physical exercises, as well as the absence of a badge on his clothes (this badge was not issued to him). He also received penalties for violating his dress code (according to a lawyer's interview, in one case there was no violation, and in another, a colony employee asked Danilov to take off his jacket, while the second officer filmed the believer without a jacket).

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    February 21, 2022 Life in prison

    It becomes known that Oleg Danilov spent 25 days in the medical unit, where he had a viral disease. After that, he is returned to strict conditions of detention.

    Oleg is preparing for a hearing to consider his cassation appeal against the verdict, which was sent to the Fourth Court of Cassation of Krasnodar.

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    June 17, 2022 Life in prison

    Oleg Danilov continues to be held in strict conditions. His state of health is satisfactory. The believer has a Bible, letters come to him.

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    June 23, 2022 Court of Cassation

    The Fourth Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction shall uphold the judgment of the first instance and the appellate decision. Oleg Danilov will continue to serve his sentence for his faith in a penal colony.

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    May 5, 2023 Life in prison

    The believer feels good. Previously, there was no heating in the cell for some time, he suffered a cold. Oleg is experiencing pain in his lower back and knee, and the medication makes him feel better. He also needs dental treatment.

    The attitude of the cellmates and the administration towards Oleg is good. He is not allowed to make phone calls.

    He receives letters of support regularly, but there are delays in delivery.

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    August 4, 2023 Life in prison Torture conditions in detention Strict conditions of detention

    It becomes known that Oleg Danilov was placed in stricter conditions of detention for three months - a cell-type room (PKT).

    PKT is a special lockable room on the territory of the colony, where convicts live for the entire period for which a penalty is imposed (up to six months). Such premises, as a rule, have more difficult conditions of detention. Previously, the PKT was called BUR, which stood for "high-security barracks".

    The administration has already placed Oleg Danilov in a punishment cell (punishment cell) and a punishment cell (strict conditions of detention).

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    August 18, 2023 Transfer of a prisoner Deprivation of liberty

    Oleg Danilov is in the process of being transferred to a penal colony located in the village of Dvubratskoye, Krasnodar Territory, where he will continue to serve his sentence.

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    August 31, 2023 Transfer of a prisoner Life in prison

    Oleg Danilov was taken to correctional colony No. 2, located in the village of Dvubratskoye (Krasnodar Territory).

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    October 6, 2023 Life in prison Letters

    Oleg Danilov is kept in a single cell room with two prisoners with whom he has developed good relations. So far, the believer receives letters only from relatives.