Photo: Dmitry Mikhailov (2018)

Criminal Investigation and Trial

A 40-year-old believer was arrested in Ivanovo region

Ivanovo Region

On May 29, 2018, Dmitry Mikhailov, a 40-year-old resident of Shuya (Ivanovo region), who professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, was taken into custody. Earlier, on April 20, 2018, he was recognized as a suspect in participation in the activities of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

At the time of his arrest, Mikhailov was told that he was now suspected of "financing" extremist activities (Part 1 of Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Law enforcers mistakenly mistake the joint religion of citizens for participation in an extremist organization.

The Case of the Mikhaylovs and Others in Shuya

Case History
Wiretapping, deploying a provocateur, hidden video recording in the homes of believers — that is how the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the town of Shuya began in the spring of 2017. A year later, the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against peaceful believer Dmitriy Mikhaylov under three articles for extremism. In 2018, homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched: believers were treated rudely, pressured, and even a 10-year-old girl was interrogated. New defendants appeared in the case: Yelena Mikhaylova, Svetlana Ryzhkova, Svetlana Shishina and Aleksey Arkhipov. Mikhaylov spent 6 months in a pretrial detention center. The case was returned twice to the investigator for revision by the procecutor and by the judge. The consideration of the case on its merits began in May 2022. In January 2024 the court gave its guilty vedict, fining the believers: Arkhipov 380,000, Shishina 400,000, Ryzhkova 480,000, Mikhaylova 560,000, and Dmitriy Mikhaylov 950,000 rubles.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Ivanovo Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation he participated in religious services, which is interpreted as participating in and funding of “the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
Court case number:
April 19, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Ivanovo Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.3 (1), 282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-1/2024 (1-2/2023; 1-138/2022)
Шуйский городской суд Ивановской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Антон Мокин
Case History