Photo: Orel, Railway Station Square

Criminal trial

A new criminal case for faith is being investigated in Oryol

Oryol Region

On May 29, 2018, in the city of Oryol, a preliminary investigation of another criminal case for faith was completed - against 55-year-old Orel resident Sergey Skrynnikov. This is the second such criminal case in the city - after the well-known case of the Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, who has been in jail since May 2017.

The case of Sergey Skrynnikov was initiated by investigator A. Kompaniets on February 20, 2018 under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in the activities of an extremist organization). A written undertaking not to leave was taken from the believer.

On May 8, 2018, Sergey Skrynnikov was brought in as an accused and interrogated. On the same day, an inspection was carried out in his house, during which not a single object prohibited by law was found. A number of "evidence" in his case, such as linguistic, religious, and computer forensics, were separated from the Christensen case.

This criminal prosecution is a direct consequence of the liquidation and prohibition of registered Jehovah's Witnesses organizations. Russian law enforcement officers mistakenly mistake the joint religion of citizens, the right to which has not been abolished, for participation in an extremist organization.

Like Dennis Christensen, Sergey Skrynnikov has never been a member of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses "Oryol" and has not participated in its activities.

Case of Skrynnikov in Oryol

Case History
The second Jehovah’s Witness in Oryol to be prosecuted after Dane Dennis Christensen was a school physical education teacher, Sergey Skrynnikov. In February 2018, the investigator of the Investigative Committee for the Oryol Region, A.O. Kompaniets, opened a criminal case against the believer for “participation in the activities of an extremist organization.” Later, an inspection was carried out in his house, during which law enforcement officers did not find anything prohibited. Having neither evidence of guilt nor victims in the case, the prosecutor Naumova requested 3 years in a general regime colony for Sergey. On April 1, 2019, Gleb Noskov, a judge of the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Orel, found the believer guilty and sentenced him to pay a fine of 350,000 rubles. The appellate instance did not change this decision. On October 9, 2019, a complaint was filed with the ECHR in the Skrynnikov case.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Oryol Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation he participated in religious services, which is interpreted as participating in 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:
February 20, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Oryol Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
1 – 121/2018
[i18n] Рассматривает по существу:
Железнодорожный районный суд г. Орла
Глеб Борисович Носков
Case History