Photo: search of believers (2016)

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

A new criminal case for faith is being opened in Novosibirsk, about 70 people have been interrogated

Novosibirsk Region

On April 19, 2019, FSB officers simultaneously invaded at least six homes of civilians whom the authorities suspect of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. It became known about the initiation of a criminal case against 64-year-old Alexander Seredkin, 44-year-old Valery Maletskov and 48-year-old Marina Chaplykina. On April 21, 2019, the Oktyabrsky District Court refused to allow the investigator to detain Seredkin and Maletskov. Instead, they chose a measure of restraint in the form of house arrest. Marina Chaplykina signed a recognizance not to leave.

Aleksandr Seredkin is charged under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with organizing the activities of an extremist organization. According to the investigation, he "organized meetings and led the reading and discussion of literature recognized as extremist." Valery Maletskov and Marina Chaplykina are charged under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with participation in the activities of an extremist organization. The investigation believes that they assisted A. Seredkin. The case was initiated by the senior investigator for especially important cases of the Novosibirsk Region Directorate of the FSB of Russia, Lieutenant Colonel of Justice E.V. Selyunin. More than 70 people were interrogated in the case.

Searches in the homes of believers followed a similar pattern. A loud knock on the door was heard at 20:45 in the house of Valery Maletskov, who lives with his wife and young child. Without waiting for an answer, the door was broken into. Shouting "Stand, do not move, raise your hands!" 5 people in camouflage, masks, with weapons and tools to break the door burst into the house. After that, 9 more people in civilian clothes immediately entered the house. They stated that the house would be searched by court order. The certificates were presented by police Lieutenant Colonel A.V. Pinaev and FSB Captain D.S. Maslyukov The operation was led by an FSB officer who refused to show the certificate. The search lasted until 3 a.m., during which they seized passports, phones, computer equipment and a CD with a recording of their wedding. After the search, the spouses were taken to the Federal Security Service of Russia Directorate for the Novosibirsk Region at 49 Kommunisticheskaya Street. There, at 5 a.m., their interrogation continued on video. After interrogation, Valeriy Maletskov was placed in an isolation ward. The man appealed to the investigator with a petition for the application of a preventive measure in the form of a written undertaking not to leave due to special circumstances (the only breadwinner in the family, works 2 jobs, in the care of a young child and a 72-year-old mother with a disability of group II). However, investigator Selyunin asked the court to send the man to jail, without even mentioning his petition in court.

Update. In total, searches were carried out at 12 addresses of believers.

In the autumn of last year, a criminal case was opened in Novosibirsk against Yuri Savelyev, who is now in a pre-trial detention center.

The case of Maletskov and Chaplykina in Novosibirsk

Case History
Even before the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses began in Russia, a certain “Ivan” attended services in Novosibirsk and studied the Bible. In 2018, he began to cooperate with the FSB and collect information about believers. In April 2019, FSB officers invaded the homes of civilians, some planted banned books. A criminal case was opened, Alexander Seredkin and Valery Maletskov were placed under house arrest. Marina Chaplykina was asked to sign a not to leave the place. Later, the case of Seredkin was separated into a separate proceeding, Maletskov was accused of organizing extremist activities, and Chaplykin was accused of participating in it and financing it. After three years of investigation, the case went to court. In December 2023, the court sentenced Maletsky to 6 years, Chaplykin to 4 years in a general regime colony.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Novosibirsk Region
Locality:
Novosibirsk
Suspected of:
According to the investigation, he "organized meetings and supervised the reading and discussion of literature recognized as extremist" (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to liquidate all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses)
Court case number:
11907500001000015
Initiated:
April 19, 2019
Current case stage:
verdict did not take effect
Investigating:
SO UFSB of Russia in the Novosibirsk region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.3 (1), 282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-16/2023 (1-181/2022)
Court of First Instance:
Новосибирский районный суд Новосибирской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Олег Карпец
Case History

Chaplykina's case in Novosibirsk

Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Novosibirsk Region
Locality:
Novosibirsk
Court case number:
12107500001000026
Initiated:
May 26, 2021
Current case stage:
preliminary investigation
Case History

The Case of Seredkin in Novosibirsk

Case History
The criminal prosecution of Aleksandr Seredkin began in April 2019, when security forces invaded the homes of peaceful residents. During the searches, law enforcement officers planted banned books. As a result of the raid, the FSB initiated a criminal case for organizing and participating in the activity of an extremist organization against three believers: Aleksandr Seredkin, Valeriy Maletskov and Marina Chaplykina. Later, Seredkin’s case was made into a separate proceeding. The believer was added to the Rosfinmonitoring list, which caused difficulties in receiving his pension. Aleksandr spent a day in a temporary detention facility and 6 months under house arrest. In March 2022, the case went to court. The charge was based on the testimony of a secret witness who feigned an interest in the Bible and collaborated with the FSB. In November of the same year, the believer was sentenced to 6 years in a penal colony and placed in a pretrial detention center, and the court of appeal upheld this sentence. A year later, the court of cassation upheld this decision.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Novosibirsk Region
Locality:
Novosibirsk
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, he "conducted collective worship services based on the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) with followers of the doctrine ... supervised the reading and discussion... religious literature"
Court case number:
12107500001000044
Initiated:
July 21, 2021
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigating:
SO UFSB of Russia in the Novosibirsk region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-277/2022
Court of First Instance:
Октябрьский районный суд г. Новосибирска
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Евгений Захаров
Case History