The case of Oleynik in Novosibirsk

Case History

In April 2019, in the Novosibirsk Region, law enforcement officers raided the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the home of pensioner Tatyana Oleynik. Based on the information collected by an undercover agent, the FSB initiated a criminal case against three believers. In October 2021, the materials regarding Tatyana were made into separate proceedings, and a month later the investigation initiated a criminal case against her. The believer from Novosibirsk was accused of participating in extremist activity for providing her apartment for meetings with fellow believers and participating in meetings for worship. She was added to the Rosfinmonitoring list of extremists. In December 2022, Tatyana Oleynik’s case went to court. In August 2023, the believer was given a 4-year suspendend sentence.

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    April 19, 2019

    The Investigation Department of the FSB of Russia for the Novosibirsk Region is initiating a criminal case against three believers - Alexander Seredkin, Valery Maletskov and Marina Chaplykina.

    On the same day, a series of searches of believers, including 67-year-old Tatyana Oliynyk, took place.

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    April 23, 2019

    Judge of the Oktyabrsky District Court of Novosibirsk Yevgeny Zakharov recognizes as lawful the search in Oleinik's home, authorized by the investigator.

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    October 20, 2021

    FSB investigator E. Selyunin singles out materials against Tatyana Oleinik in a separate proceeding.

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    November 18, 2021

    A criminal case is being opened against the believer under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to investigators, Oleinik's extremist actions boil down to the fact that she provided her apartment and electronic devices for religious meetings with fellow believers, and also participated in worship services herself.

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    February 15, 2022

    Tatyana Oleinik is summoned to the investigation department of the FSB to familiarize herself with the decision to initiate a criminal case and interrogate her as a suspect. The believer uses Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

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    December 20, 2022 Case went to court

    Tatyana Oleinik's case is submitted to the Oktyabrsky District Court of Novosibirsk. It will be considered by judge Marina Borzitskaya.

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    February 22, 2023 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The defendant is charged. She expresses her disagreement with him and does not admit her guilt.

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    May 10, 2023 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    FSB officer G. G. Lazarev is being interrogated. He says that Oleinik "provided active assistance to Alexander Seredkin", providing her housing for worship and was an "informal leader." The witness finds it difficult to answer the clarifying questions of the defense.

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    June 19, 2023 Hearing in a court of the first instance

    Two witnesses are being interrogated, who report that a lot of time has passed since the events discussed, and therefore they do not remember the details well.

    Immediately after the end of the hearing, the judge, turning to a lawyer, declares that he wants to complete the trial in August. During one session, Judge Marina Borzitskaya plans to examine 10 volumes of the case, interrogate the secret witness and the defendant, hear the arguments of the parties and the last word and pass a verdict.

    The lawyer notes that such a procedure for holding a meeting violates the principle of adversarial parties.

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    August 9, 2023 Elderly Hearing in a court of the first instance

    The court proceeds to examine the written materials of the case. Within 20 minutes, the prosecutor voices 9 volumes, only naming the documents. Only after the lawyer's request to record this violation in the record of the court session, the prosecutor begins to briefly explain the essence of the materials being examined.

    The defense draws the court's attention to the document "Information on the Fundamentals of the Doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses," which states that the followers of this religion build their lives in accordance with biblical teachings and that the basis of worship is the study of the Holy Scriptures.

    Tatyana Oliynyk reads out her written notes in which she explains that she is a believer and therefore considers her accusation of extremism far-fetched, because "Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their peacefulness." The woman says that she was left without a mother early, and therefore she had to learn to live and provide for herself on her own. She also tells the court that she has a number of chronic diseases.

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    August 22, 2023 In the courtroom Suspended sentence Art. 282.2 (2) First Instance Sentence