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Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Searches and detention of believers in Ugra

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area

On February 6, 2019, in the city of Urai (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug), searches were conducted in 8 houses of citizens who are suspected of professing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. 38-year-old Andrey Sazonov was arrested, the court must choose a measure of restraint for him within 2 days.

Recently, believers have noticed surveillance of themselves from cars with tinted windows, so they were even forced to file a complaint with the police on the helpline.

The case of Sazonov in Uray

Case History
In January 2019, Andrey Sazonov, the father of two minor children, the deputy general director of an energy company, faced persecution for his faith. The investigator of the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against him on the organization of extremist activities. After the search and interrogation, the believer was placed in a pre-trial detention center for 20 days, then placed under house arrest, and six months later - under a ban on certain actions. Later, Andrei Sazonov was also accused of financing the activities of an extremist organization. The court considered the case from June 2020 to December 2021. As a result, Sazonov was sentenced to a fine of 500,000 rubles. The appeal overturned this decision and sent the case for a new trial to the same court, but with a different composition. In June 2022, repeated hearings began, and in October 2023, the court imposed a fine of 450,000 rubles on the believer. In January 2024, a second appeal overturned the verdict and sent the case back for reconsideration.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, together with others he conducted religious services, which is interpreted as “organising the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court)
Court case number:
January 31, 2019
Current case stage:
trial in court of first instance
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Khanty-Mansi Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
Урайский городской суд ХМАО-Югра
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Виктор Ярышев
Case History