Served Sentences

Prisoner of Conscience Maksim Beltikov, Father of Three, Was Released From Penal Colony in Khadyzhensk

Krasnodar Territory

On September 15, 2023, Maksim Beltikov was released from penal colony No. 9 in the Krasnodar Territory, having fully served his 2-year sentence for his faith in Jehovah God. He was greeted by his family and many friends.

The criminal case against Beltikov was initiated in June 2020 after the FSB raided the homes of believers in several villages in the Krasnodar Territory. The believer was taken into custody in the courtroom immediately after the verdict was announced in January 2022. He spent 8 months in a pre-trial detention center and one year in a correctional facility.

Mariya Beltikova and her three sons are waiting for Maksim's release
Mariya Beltikova and her three sons are waiting for Maksim's release
Maksim Beltikov is leaving the penal colony
Maksim Beltikov is leaving the penal colony
The believer hugs his younger son
The believer hugs his younger son
The believer happily meets his wife and elder sons
The believer happily meets his wife and elder sons
Maksim Beltikov is wiping tears from his son's face
Maksim Beltikov is wiping tears from his son's face
The Beltikovs' family friends are meeting Maksim
The Beltikovs' family friends are meeting Maksim

The believer served part of the sentence under strict detention regime. According to the lawyer, despite the difficulties, including gradually weakening eyesight, he did never complained. Among other things hundreds of letters of support helped him cope.

Six more Jehovah's Witnesses from the Krasnodar Territory continue to serve their sentences for their faith in penal colonies. Among them is Lyudmila Shchekoldina, whose sentence ends in April 2026.

The case of Beltikov in Pavlovskaya

Case history
Maksim Beltikov, a labor protection specialist, an exemplary family man, father of three children, was accused of extremism. In April 2020, the believer’s home was searched, and in June, FSB investigator Lieutenant M. Loi opened a criminal case against the man on suspicion of participating in the activities of an extremist organization. The investigation considered that the believer, “aware of the criminal nature and public danger of his actions,” exercised “the role of a preacher.” Maksim was placed on recognizance not to leave. In January 2021, the trial began. During the proceedings, it was revealed that the transcript of Beltikov’s conversation with the main prosecution witness Ilchenko was falsified. In January 2022, the court found Beltikov guilty and sentenced him to 2 years in a general regime colony with restriction of freedom for 1 year. The appellate court upheld the verdict. In August 2023, the court extended the restriction of liberty for another 3 years.
Timeline

Persons in case

Criminal case

Region:
Krasnodar Territory
Locality:
Pavlovskaya
Suspected of:
"participated in religious teaching and sermons, during which ... conducted and listened to lectures based on religious literature, entered into conversations and religious discussions, participated in collective discussions of the content of religious books" (from the decision to initiate a criminal case)
Court case number:
12007030001000072
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)
Court case number:
1-10/2022 (1-49/2021)
Court:
Павловский районный суд Краснодарского края
Judge:
Андрей Мыночка
Background