Photo: Viktor Trofimov and Roman Markin

Criminal trial

Jehovah's Witness and extremist are mutually exclusive concepts." Speech by Roman Markin in the debate at his trial in Polyarny

Murmansk Region

On January 24, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., the judge of the Polyarny District Court of the Murmansk Region is scheduled to announce the verdict to two friends, Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov. The prosecutor requested 6 years for Markin and 6 years and 5 months in prison for Trofimov because both believe in Jehovah God and try to live according to the principles of Christianity.

On the eve of the announcement of the verdict, we publish excerpts from Roman Markin's speech in the debate. On January 15, 2020, he told the court about the campaign to discredit Jehovah's Witnesses, the misinterpretation of their activities, as well as the grounds on which Christians do what the security forces biasedly classify as extremism.

Case of Markin and Trofimov in Polyarny

Case history
In April 2017, the families of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the attention of the FSB officers in the Murmansk region. A year later, a series of searches took place in Polyarny, after which 13 citizens, including the minor Violetta Markina, were taken for interrogations, which lasted until 6 a.m. the next day. Investigator A. V. Gulin considered prayers and reading the Bible dangerous acts for the state. Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov were sent to a pre-trial detention center for six months on suspicion of organizing the activities of an extremist organization. They spent another 4 months under house arrest. After 20 court hearings, the prosecutor requested 6 years in prison for Roman Markin and 6 years and 5 months for Viktor Trofimov. On January 24, 2020, Viktoriya Loginova, a judge of the Polyarny District Court, sentenced the believers to fines: Viktor Trofimov in the amount of 350,000 rubles, and Roman Markin - 300,000 rubles. The Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Murmansk Region
Suspected of:
according to the investigation he together with others conducted 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:
April 12, 2018
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Murmansk Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number: