In the photo: Sergey Belousov with his wife on the day of the verdict

Unjust Verdicts

Seversk-Based Sergey Belousov Was Given a Three-Year Suspended Sentence for Attending Peaceful Worship Services of Jehovah's Witnesses

Tomsk Region

On April 14, 2022, the Severskiy City Court of the Tomsk Region sentenced Sergey Belousov to three years suspended sentence. Despite the recent clarification of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Judge Yekaterina Soldatenko found the believer guilty of extremism only for participating in peaceful worship.

The court deprived Belousov of the right to post materials in information and telecommunication networks and on the Internet for a period of 5 years with restriction of freedom for 1 year. The believer is also forbidden to leave the house from 22:00 to 6:00, visit places of sports, cultural, entertainment and public events and participate in them.

The accusation was based on the testimony of the notorious Kira Klisheva, an intelligence agent who collected information about believers in Seversk and made covert videos of worship services. The court reviewed five such records. The prosecution did not present any evidence of Belousov's extremist activities. Despite this, the prosecutor asked for a sentence of 5 years in a general regime penal colony with restriction of freedom for 1 year for the believer.

In his last speech, Belousov emphasized: “It is important for me to have a good reputation in the eyes of God. Of course, under pressure, out of fear, someone can give up their beliefs. But what's next? How to live with it? To trample your conscience? Never! It is better to be not recognized by people, but approved by God.”

Sergey Belousov faced criminal prosecution for his faith back in July 2020, when officers from the Investigative Committee and the FSB broke into the homes of several families in Seversk. Then the case was brought against another believer, Yevgeniy Korotun. In March 2021, the investigative department for ZATO in Seversk brought the case against Belousov into a separate proceeding and placed him on a recognizance agreement. Three months later, the case went to court.

The criminal prosecution proved to be a test for the entire Belousov family: the feeling of constant surveillance does not leave them and any knock on the door reminds them of the search they experienced. Due to the constant stress Sergey's chronic diseases worsened. Because of his travel ban he could not visit his elderly parents. “I worry about my father and mother. I am sorry that I cannot be with them: they are already aged, and my father has to deal with a serious illness that threatens his life,” Belousov shared.

The verdict has not entered into force. The believer insists on his complete innocence and has the right to file an appeal.

In the Tomsk Region, 7 Jehovah's Witnesses are already being repressed simply for not giving up their peaceful beliefs. One of them, Sergey Klimov, is currently serving a long term in a penal colony, and 80-year-old Yelena Saveliyeva was sentenced to 4 years of probation.

The world community and Russian human rights activists unanimously condemn the infringement of the rights of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.

Belousov's case in Seversk

Case history
For several months, intelligence agent Kira Klisheva, who portrayed an interest in the Bible, kept covert video recordings of Jehovah’s Witnesses worship services in Seversk. She transmitted the data to the FSB. In July 2020, employees of the Investigative Committee invaded with a search of a peaceful family man Sergey Belousov. In March 2021, the Investigation Department for the Closed Administrative Territory of Seversk opened a criminal case against the believer, separating him from the case of Yevgeny Korotun. Belousov was accused of extremism, which, according to the investigation, was expressed in participation in worship services, the performance of religious songs and prayers. In July 2021, the case was submitted to the Seversky City Court of the Tomsk Region. It was considered by judge Ekaterina Soldatenko. On April 14, 2022, Belousov was sentenced to 3 years of probation with restriction of liberty for 1 year. In June 2022, the appellate court upheld this decision.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Tomsk Region
Locality:
Seversk
Suspected of:
With the help of the "Zoom software" and the "Signal" mobile application, he took part in... religious worship", as well as in "singing songs" and "prayers to Jehovah God" (from the indictment).
Court case number:
12102690003000022
Initiated:
March 25, 2021
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigating:
Seversk, Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Tomsk Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
1-9/2022
Court of First Instance:
Северский городской суд Томской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Екатерина Солдатенко
Background