С места событий

In the Stavropol region, a police raid on citizens during a picnic

Stavropol Territory

On Saturday, August 26, 2017, 18 citizens who were resting with children on the shore of the lake in the vicinity of the city of Neftekumsk (Stavropol Territory) were blocked by a detachment of armed police officers who arrived by bus and 5 cars. Police Lieutenant Colonel Ostrikov, who led the operation, stated that "an anonymous call was received that Jehovah's Witnesses had gathered on the river, and they were banned." Under the threat of force, citizens were forced to enter a police bus and taken to the police station.

More than half of the detainees were children, the elderly and the disabled. For 3 hours, the police interrogated them, asking questions about their attitude to religion, and the children were interrogated despite the disagreement of their parents, without explaining their rights and obligations. The children were frightened and crying. Everyone, without exception, experienced severe stress. Some citizens noted in the interrogation record that they had experienced degrading treatment at the hands of the police. In particular, it was expressed in the fact that citizens were loaded into a dirty bus inside, they were not allowed to use the phone, they were escorted to the toilet, and they made sarcastic remarks during interrogation.

It is noteworthy that for several days before this event, the police went around the houses of these citizens, trying to establish their place of work, occupation, etc. Despite the absence of any signs of illegal actions, the police did not apologize to the citizens for the disrupted rest.

Case of Samsonov and Others in Neftekumsk

Case History
In August 2017, security forces conducted a raid on believers from Neftekumsk during a picnic. More than half of the 18 detained persons were children, the elderly and disabled persons. In December 2018, the FSB initiated a criminal case for extremism. Homes of local believers were searched. Shamil Sultanov, Konstantin Samsonov and Aleksandr Akopov spent about a year in a detention center. The prosecution repeatedly called convicted persons as witnesses. Some of them did not know the defendants. The defense pointed to the fabrication of the case materials. In March 2022, the prosecutor requested 9 years in a penal colony for Samsonov and 8 years each for Akopov and Sultanov. In April 2022, the court sentenced Samsonov to 7.5 years in a penal colony, Akopov and Sultanov each received a fine of 500,000 rubles. Following the results of the appeal, in August 2022, Samsonov paid a fine of 400,000 rubles taking into account the time served in the detention center, while Akopov and Sultanov paid 250,000 rubles each. This decision was upheld by the court of cassation.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Stavropol Territory
Suspected of:
“After the decision of Russia's Supreme Court to ban the activities...of the religious organization (of Jehovah's Witnesses)...he did not renounce his religious views.”
Court case number:
December 7, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Stavropol Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
1-1/2022 (1-46/2021)
Нефтекумский районный суд Ставропольского края
Максим Мазикин
Case History