Unjust Verdicts

A Seversk Appeal Upheld Sergey Belousov's Suspended Three-Year Sentence for Practicing Faith in God

Tomsk Region

On June 30, 2022, a panel of judges of the Tomsk Regional Court upheld the conviction of one of Jehovah's Witnesses—Sergey Belousov, 44. The believer was found guilty of participating in the activities of an extremist organization.

In sentencing Sergey Belousov to three years of suspended sentence, judge Yekaterina Soldatenko of the Severskiy City Court of the Tomsk Region did not take into account that the right to be a believer does not depend on the existence of a legal entity or its prohibition. “As a result of a miscarriage of justice, I was only convicted of professing Bible-based beliefs and peacefully practicing my Christian faith as a Jehovah's Witness,” the believer said during the consideration of his complaint. Despite this, as well as a number of other violations, the appellate court upheld the verdict of April 14, 2022.

The believer still insists on his innocence. The verdict came into force, but Sergey Belousov has the right to appeal it in cassation.

In the Tomsk region, 7 believers are already being repressed for their faith in Jehovah God. Sergey Klimov and Yevgeniy Korotun were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (6 and 7 years, respectively), and Yelena Savelyeva, 80,—to 4 years of suspended sentence.

International organizations, Russian human rights activists and the European Court of Human Rights condemn the persecution 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.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Tomsk Region
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:
March 25, 2021
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
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:
Court of First Instance:
Северский городской суд Томской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Екатерина Солдатенко
Case History