Case of Akopyan in Prokhladny

Case History

In the late 1980s, Arkadya Hakobyan, his wife and three children fled ethnic cleansing in Azerbaijan. More than 25 years later, as a peaceful elderly man, Arkadia became a victim of religious repression. In June 2016, a criminal case was opened against him for a public speech in which he allegedly humiliated the dignity of followers of other religions. In May 2017, hearings began in the Prokhladnensky District Court, during which it turned out that the testimony of witnesses underlying the case was false, and the expert’s opinion was replete with errors. The prosecutor demanded 3 years of probation for the believer. In December 2018, Judge Oleg Golovashko sentenced the believer to 120 hours of compulsory labor. In March 2019, the Supreme Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic overturned the conviction. Hakobyan was cleared of all charges.