Photo: Sergey and Anastasia Polyakov (Omsk)

Criminal Investigation and Trial

In Omsk, the couple was placed under house arrest after 5 months in solitary confinement for their faith

Omsk Region

On December 4, 2018, Sergey and Anastasiya Polyakov were placed under house arrest. They spent exactly five months in solitary confinement. By subjecting the spouses to such cruel treatment, law enforcement officers forced them, in fact, to incriminate themselves and other people. Neither the Polyakovs nor dozens of other prisoners for their faith throughout Russia make such a deal with the investigation.

Since May 2017, a total of 62 people have been imprisoned on suspicion of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, including 7 women! Currently, 26 citizens are still languishing in prisons, 2 of them are women. Russian law enforcement officers mistakenly mistake the joint religion of citizens for participation in the activities of an extremist organization. Prominent public figures of Russia, as well as the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, have already drawn attention to this problem. Jehovah's Witnesses have nothing to do with extremism and insist on their complete innocence.

Case of the Polyakovs and Others in Omsk

Case history
In 2018, the Polyakovs were arrested in Omsk. During the arrest, Sergei was beaten and forced to wipe his blood off the floor. The couple spent five months in solitary confinement and three months under house arrest. In 2019, the Investigative Committee again searched the houses of believers, and Gaukhar Bektemirova and Dinara Dyusekeyeva became defendants in the case. The court considered the case for almost a year. Evidence of guilt was even sought in cartoons seized during the search. In November 2020, Sergey Polyakov was sentenced to three years in a penal colony, and three women were given suspended sentences: Anastasiya Polyakova—two and a half years; Gaukhar Bektemirova—two years and three months; Dinara Dyusekeyeva—two years. In May 2021, the appeal court upheld the verdict, and in June 2022, this verdict was upheld by the cassation court. In November 2022, Sergei Polyakov was released after serving his full term in a penal colony, and in January 2023, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation partially granted Polyakov’s appeal regarding the term of his sentence.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Omsk Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation she 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:
June 20, 2018
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Azov Inter-district Investigative Department of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Omsk Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
Первомайский районный суд г. Омска
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Денис Першукевич