Photo: Andrey Stupnikov. District Court of Krasnoyarsk (2018)

Criminal Investigation and Trial

Krasnoyarsk believer released from house arrest

Krasnoyarsk Territory

On July 2, 2019, a court in Krasnoyarsk released Andrey Stupnikov, who had been held under house arrest for his faith. Now he will be able to move freely.

Judge of the Leninsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk, Svetlana Sakovich, decided to release 45-year-old Andrey Stupnikov from house arrest and choose a preventive measure for him in the form of a ban on certain actions. He is not allowed to use the mail and the Internet, as well as to communicate with witnesses interrogated in his criminal case. 

Andrey's friends and relatives do not hide their joy at his release, but the criminal case against him has not been closed. The believer still faces up to 10 years in prison for organizing extremist activities (Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This is how law enforcement agencies interpret conversations with friends on biblical topics. 

The criminal case against Andrey Stupnikov was initiated on July 3, 2018. He spent 241 days in the pre-trial detention center, and in February 2019, the court transferred him to house arrest. His case was the first criminal case in the Krasnoyarsk Territory initiated on the basis of religious affiliation. Two other residents of the region who are suspected by the authorities of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses are in a similar situation: Dmitry Maslov in Minusinsk and Anton Ostapenko, who is still being held in a pre-trial detention center in Achinsk. Russian and international human rights organizations and public figures strongly condemn religious repression in Russia. 

Case of Stupnikov in Krasnoyarsk

Case History
In July 2018, FSB officers arrested engineer Andrei Stupnikov at the Krasnoyarsk airport. The next day, an investigator opened the first criminal case in the region under an extremist article against him for reading the Bible and praying together with friends. He spent 337 days in a pre-trial detention center, 124 days under house arrest and about 2 years under a ban on certain actions. In February 2020, Andrey Stupnikov’s case went to court, and in June 2021 he was sentenced to 6 years in a general regime colony. The appeal upheld this sentence, and the believer was sent to a penal colony in the Kirov region to serve his sentence. In August 2022, the cassation court upheld the decision of the appellate instance.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Krasnoyarsk Territory
Suspected of:
according to the investigation they participated in religious services, which is interpreted as “organising 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:
July 3, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
initially, Investigative Department of the Zheleznodorozhnyy District of the Investigative Committee of the city of Krasnoyarsk, later the case was transferred to the Second Investigation Department of the First Directorate for Investigating Especially Im
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-6/2021 (1-113/2020)
Case History