Photo: Valery Rogozin, Sergey Melnik, Igor Egozaryan

Criminal Investigation and Trial

All four prisoners of conscience were released from pre-trial detention center in Volgograd

Volgograd Region

On December 26, 2019, the Volgograd Regional Court released Igor Yegozaryan, Valery Rogozin and Sergey Melnik from the pre-trial detention center. A day later, a similar decision was made on Vyacheslav Osipov. Their detention has been replaced by a ban on certain actions.

Four civilians in Volgograd were imprisoned on May 16, 2019, after a raid and mass arrests for their faith. All of them are charged under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in the activities of an extremist organization) just because they have not stopped practicing their religion.

Relatives of believers are happy to be reunited with their loved ones, but the criminal case against them continues to be investigated.

Case of Rogozin and Others in Volgograd

Case history
In the spring of 2019, the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against believers from Volgograd. Sergey Melnik, Igor Egozaryan, Valeriy Rogozin and Denis Peresunko were accused of organizing an extremist organization, and the latter two were also accused of financing it. They spent 5 to 7 months in the detention center. Lawyers drew the attention of Judge Irina Struk to numerous violations by the investigation. Some witnesses stated that their testimonies were falsified. Secret witnesses were interrogated incognito — according to them, they feared for their lives and health. In September 2021, the court sentenced four believers to prison terms ranging from 6 years to 6 years and 5 months. In March 2022, a court of appeal upheld the verdict. In August of the same year, Igor Egozaryan, Denis Peresunko and Valeriy Rogozin were taken 1,200 km from their home to correctional colony No. 6 in the Republic of Udmurtia, and Sergey Melnik was later transferred to correctional colony No. 5 in the Kirov Region.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Volgograd Region
Locality:
Volgograd
Suspected of:
[to be determined]
Court case number:
11902180028000016
Initiated:
May 16, 2019
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigating:
[to be determined]
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Court case number:
1-2/2021 (1-56/2020)
Court:
Тракторозаводский районный суд г. Волгограда
Judge:
Ирина Струк
Background