Photo: Invasion of believers in Tomsk (2018)

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

In Norilsk, more than 50 believers were blocked by special forces at a tourist base. Searches and interrogations took place

Krasnoyarsk Territory

On Sunday morning, October 20, 2019, two SOBR groups surrounded a camp site in Norilsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), where believers were at that time. Masked commandos broke into the building and demanded that everyone who was there hand over their phones and tablets. The homes of some believers were searched.

More than 50 people suffered from the actions of law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers put a number of those present in minivans, including those with the Norilsk Nickel logo, and took them away for interrogation and searches in their apartments.

The interrogations were conducted in the building of the Investigative Committee at 7 Zavenyagin Street in Norilsk. The questions were asked by investigators who introduced themselves as Alexander Slimkin and Alexander Garber. Their questionnaire consisted of 25 items. The investigators were interested in whether their fellow countrymen professed a "forbidden" faith.

At least 5 searches are known, which lasted an average of 5 hours. Bibles, computers, tablets and phones were seized from believers.

Case of Polozov in Norilsk

Case history
In October 2019, special forces surrounded a camp site in Norilsk, where about 50 people gathered for a friendly meeting. Some of them were interrogated. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Stepan Shevelev and Aleksandr Polozov for organizing the activities of a banned organization. They were searched. Polozov was arrested and sent to a pre-trial detention center for 90 days, after which he was taken on his own recognizance. The same measure of restraint was chosen for Shevelev. In June 2021, the case of the believers went to court. The prosecutor requested a 6-year suspended sentence for the believers with a probationary period of 5 years. In April 2022, the judge returned the case of Polozov and Shevelev to the prosecutor, not seeing corpus delicti in their actions. In July 2022, the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court approved this decision. However, in May 2023, the case went back to court.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Krasnoyarsk Territory
Suspected of:
According to the investigation he “organized meetings ... in compliance with distinctive —  for this association — actions expressed in religious speeches, services, and propaganda of the activities of the banned organization ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’”
Court case number:
October 20, 2019
Current case stage:
trial in Court of First Instance
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Krasnoyarsk Territory
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
Норильский городской суд Красноярского края
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Сергей Курунин