Zinich's case in Krasnoyarsk

Case History

In December 2020, the apartment of peaceful entrepreneur Yevgeniy Zinich and his wife, who is disabled, was searched. The security forces seized electronic devices, personal records and a Bible in Ukrainian. In January 2021, an investigator of the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Yevgeniy, accusing him of organizing the activity of an extremist organization. This was based on the testimony of a secret witness and recordings of telephone and personal conversations of the believer. In November 2021, the case was submitted to the district court. During the criminal prosecution, the believer’s wife died from a serious illness. In June 2022, the court found Evgeny guilty and sentenced him to 6 years in a penal colony, as requested by the prosecutor. The court of appeal upheld this decision.

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    November 7, 2018

    With regard to Jehovah's Witnesses in Krasnoyarsk, operational search measures are being carried out, including recordings of divine services. Mass searches of believers are taking place.

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    August 26, 2019

    Senior investigator Denis Lugovoi, during the preliminary investigation of the criminal case against Andrei Stupnikov, reveals signs of a crime in the actions of Anatoly Gorbunov, Yevgeny Zinich and other persons.

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    August 28, 2019
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    December 11, 2020

    The apartment of Yevgeniy Zinich, who is in the status of a witness in a criminal case, is being searched. Electronic devices, data carriers, the Bible in Ukrainian and personal records are seized.

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    December 22, 2020
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    January 21, 2021

    Lieutenant of Justice K. O. Zhuikov, investigator of the Investigative Directorate for the Oktyabrsky District of Krasnoyarsk of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Republic of Khakassia, initiates a criminal case against Yevgeny Zinich under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

    The resolution states: "Zinich E. N., being on the territory of the Oktyabrsky district of Krasnoyarsk ... being one of the leaders of the LRO "Jehovah's Witnesses Krasnoyarsk"... committed actions of an organizational nature aimed at continuing the illegal activities of Jehovah's Witnesses, expressed in the leadership of this organization."

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    January 28, 2021

    Acting Prosecutor of the Oktyabrsky District of Krasnoyarsk A. V. Stolbovsky approves the indictment in the case against Yevgeny Zinich. The accusation is based on the testimony of witnesses Nadezhda Zhernosekova, Yuri Boreysha and secret witness "Oleg Salov". In addition, the prosecution refers to recordings of telephone and personal conversations of the believer, religious studies and psychological-linguistic examinations.

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    October 19, 2021

    Yevgeny Zinich is charged with committing a crime under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

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    October 20, 2021

    Investigator Zhuikov chooses a preventive measure for Yevgeniy Zinich in the form of a written undertaking not to leave the place and proper behavior. The believer gets acquainted with the materials of his criminal case.

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    October 26, 2021

    Investigator Zhuikov refuses to satisfy Yevgeny Zinich's request to terminate the criminal case.

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    November 1, 2021

    After 9 months of investigation, the case is submitted to the Oktyabrsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk.

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    December 14, 2021 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The first hearing on the merits of the case is held. Speaking with an attitude to the accusation, Yevgeny Zinich quotes from laws, court decisions, as well as from the Bible. Judge Natalia Nikolayeva asks the believer not to quote the Holy Scriptures.

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    May 26, 2022 Prosecutor requested punishment

    40 people come to the courthouse, but only three listeners are allowed into the courtroom.

    The court attaches to the case file certificates about the state of health of the defendant and that Zinich's elderly mother is dependent on him.

    The prosecutor asks the court to sentence the believer to 6 years in prison in a penal colony.

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    June 23, 2022 Final statement

    Referee: Natalia Nikolaeva. Oktyabrsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk, Vysotnaya str., 2 G).

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    June 27, 2022 First Instance Sentence

    Judge Natalia Nikolayeva finds Yevgeniy Zinich guilty and sentences him to 6 years in a penal colony.

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    January 19, 2023
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    March 3, 2023 Transfer of a prisoner

    Yevgeny Zinich will serve his sentence in correctional colony No. 15 in Nizhnevartovsk. While waiting for a transfer, he has been in SIZO-1 of Tyumen for some time. The believer keeps a register of all letters of support - at the moment there are already 2567 of them, he managed to answer 1092 of them. Employees of the pre-trial detention center are surprised that Yevgeniy is being persecuted for believing in God.

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    March 15, 2023 Transfer of a prisoner Life in prison

    Yevgeniy Zinich arrives at the colony in Nizhnevartovsk to serve his sentence. He can write letters.

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    May 2, 2023 Life in prison

    Yevgeniy Zinich is being held in a punishment cell. According to him, the administration is showing increased attention to him - he is given verbal reprimands for what is usually not done to others.

    The believer says that not all letters are given to him. Those in which the phrase "Jehovah's Witnesses" occurs are not missed. At the beginning of his stay in the colony, he received about 10 letters a day, and now he receives 2 letters.

    Zinich suffers from a number of diseases, including hypertension. Medical workers can monitor the health of prisoners only during the day, and Yevgeniy is not given his personal blood pressure monitor. Friends were able to give him the necessary medicines.

    Zinich has a Bible. Despite the difficulties, he tries to notice positive aspects in his life in the colony.

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    July 18, 2023 Life in prison Punishment cell Strict conditions of detention

    Due to the conditions of detention in IK-15, Yevgeniy Zinich's chronic diseases worsened. Doctors conduct an examination daily. The believer worries about his daughter, as any connection with her is blocked.

    In IK-15, Zinich was placed in a punishment cell four times, later transferred to a cell-type room, and then the conditions for his isolation were further tightened. In this colony, the believer did not receive all letters: in three months, only one letter was handed over to him from his daughter.

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    July 19, 2023 Transfer of a prisoner Life in prison Strict conditions of detention

    It becomes known that Yevgeny Zinich was transferred to the strict regime correctional colony No. 11 in Surgut. Eugene can receive letters of support.

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    September 4, 2023 Life in prison Strict conditions of detention

    In a strict regime colony, Yevgeniy Zinich is in strict conditions of detention, so he can receive parcels no more than once every 6 months. The believer is in need of medicine, and recently he was able to get them. Yevgeniy assesses his state of health as satisfactory.

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    December 12, 2023 Life in prison Punishment cell Penalty Letters

    Yevgeniy is kept in solitary confinement in the FCT, periodically he is placed in a punishment cell. He is effectively deprived of long dates and parcels and says that he is very tired of the loud music that plays throughout the day.

    Despite this, Eugene tries to support himself emotionally and physically. He reads the Bible and the letters he receives, goes for walks and does exercises.