Unjust Verdicts

Vladimir Skachidub's Verdict of Four-Years-and-Two Months in Prison for Believing in Jehovah God Was Upheld Despite an Appeal Filed in Krasnodar

Krasnodar Territory

On April 20, 2022, the Krasnodar Regional Court upheld the sentence of Vladimir Skachidub, a 60-year-old Jehovah's Witness from the village of Kholmskaya. The believer will have to spend more than 4 years behind bars.

On October 11, 2021, the judge of the Pavlovskiy District Court of the Krasnodar Territory, Olga Marchenko, convicted Vladimir Skachidub under two extremist articles, finding him guilty of participation in the activities of a banned organization and involvement in it. Since then, Vladimir, a group III disabled person, has been kept in a pre-trial detention center. According to the investigation and the court, his fault lies in the fact that he shared his beliefs with acquaintances and did not renounce them when the legal entities of Jehovah's Witnesses were liquidated in 2017.

The verdict has entered into force. The believer still insists on his innocence. He has the right to appeal the verdict in cassation.

In total, 16 criminal cases were initiated in the Krasnodar Territory against 25 believers. 12 of them have already been convicted and received real prison terms. The most severe punishment - 7.5 years in prison - was received by a resident of the village of Kholmskaya Aleksandr Ivshin.

Case of Skachidub in Pavlovskaya

Case history
In April 2020, the security forces searched and interrogated Vladimir Skachidub and his wife, a disabled person of group II. Two months later, a criminal case was initiated against a believer from the village of Pavlovskaya under two parts of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Vitaly Veter, an investigator of the FSB of Russia for the Krasnodar Territory, considered it a crime that Vladimir Skachidub “played the role of a preacher” while talking with others about the Bible. Since December 2020, the Skachidub case has been considered by Olga Marchenko, judge of the Pavlovsky District Court of the Krasnodar Territory. In October 2021, she sentenced a believer with a disability to 4 years and 2 months in a penal colony. Six months later, the Court of Appeal upheld this decision. Vladimir is serving his sentence in IK-6 in the Ryazan region, 1200 km from home.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Krasnodar Territory
Locality:
Pavlovskaya
Suspected of:
According to investigators, he "participated ... in a religious educational event - a sermon lesson, exercising the role of a preacher ... spread the ideology of the LRO Jehovah's Witnesses"
Court case number:
12007030001000071
Initiated:
June 23, 2020
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigating:
Krasnodar Territory Directorate of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.2 (1.1)
Court case number:
1-36/2021 (1-170/2020)
Court:
Павловский районный суд Краснодарского края
Judge:
Ольга Марченко
Background