Photo: Invasion of believers in Polyarny (2018)

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

In the Amur region, a criminal case for faith was initiated, searches were carried out

Amur Region

From 7:00 a.m. on July 20, 2018, at least three homes of citizens believed to be Jehovah's Witnesses were searched in Blagoveshchensk. One of them was charged under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in the activities of an extremist organization).

The case is being conducted by the FSB of Russia for the Amur Region, investigator I. Beloglazov. According to the investigator, it became known that as part of the operational preparation of this case, a listening device was installed in the apartment of a married couple for almost six months, as a result, the investigation has a number of details of the personal life of the spouses. Such an unceremonious invasion of privacy, violation of the right to inviolability of the home, personal and family secrets, became possible as part of the brutal persecution unleashed against Jehovah's Witnesses. Law enforcement officers across the country falsely interpret compliance with common religious precepts, such as praying together or reading the Bible, as participation in the activities of an extremist organization. All this was a direct consequence of a miscarriage of justice made by the Supreme Court of Russia and personally by Judge Yuri Ivanenko.

Searches in the homes of peaceful Blagoveshchensk residents were sanctioned by Oleg Filatov, a judge of the Blagoveshchensk City Court of the Amur Region. Similar criminal cases have been initiated in other Far Eastern regions - in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories, in the Magadan and Jewish Autonomous Regions, and also in Yakutia.

Update. According to updated data, on July 20, 2018, 7 searches were conducted in the apartments of believers in Blagoveshchensk.

Case of Berchuk and Golik in Blagoveshchensk

Case History
In October 2017, the FSB began covertly filming the private life of Dmitry Golik and his wife, as well as the peaceful worship services of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Blagoveshchensk. In June 2018, a criminal case was opened against Aleksey Berchuk, and a month later searches were carried out at 7 families of believers. Berchuk and Golik were charged with organizing an extremist community. In January 2019, Berchuk was detained at a Moscow airport and taken into custody. A measure of restraint in the form of a written undertaking not to leave was chosen for the believers. On February 6, 2020, the case was submitted to the Blagoveshchensk City Court. On June 30, 2021, judge Tatyana Studilko found the believers guilty and sentenced them to a record cruel punishment: 7 and 8 years in a general regime colony. On September 2, 2021, the Amur Regional Court reduced Dmitriy Golik’s prison term by 10 months. The verdict against Aleksey Berchuk was upheld. In February 2022, the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Amur Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation he participated in religious services, which is interpreted as participation in the activity of an extremist organisation
Court case number:
June 22, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Amur Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-39/2021 (1-333/2020)
Court of First Instance:
Благовещенский городской суд Амурской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Татьяна Студилко
Case History