Galina Yatsik, Margarita Moiseyenko and Yelena Yatsyk near the Zeyskiy District Court. September, 2023.

Unjust Verdicts

Appeal Court Approved Suspended Sentences for Three Women from the Amur Region, Removing Some of the Additional Restrictions

Amur Region

On November 21, 2023, the judicial board of the Amur Regional Court approved the verdict of the first instance to Margarita Moiseyenko, Yelena Yatsyk and Galina Yatsik, excluding from it an additional punishment in the form of deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to participation in the work of public organizations.

In September 2023, the Zeyskiy District Court of the Amur Region sentenced Margarita Moiseenko to 3 years of suspended sentence, Yelena Yatsyk to 2.5 years, and Galina Yatsik to 2 years suspended, finding them guilty of participating in the activities of an extremist organization.

Margarita Moiseenko is one of three residents of Zeya convicted for their faith. Her husband, Konstantin, had also previously been convicted as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. November 2023
Margarita Moiseenko is one of three residents of Zeya convicted for their faith. Her husband, Konstantin, had also previously been convicted as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. November 2023

The believers still insist on their complete innocence and can appeal this decision in cassation. "The verdict is based only on the fact that I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I was convicted because I believe in God and use the right guaranteed by Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation," Margarita Moiseyenko said at the appeal hearing.

Margarita's lawyer called the verdict illegal and subject to cancellation: "I believe that a miscarriage of justice was made due to an incorrect assessment of my client's domestic behavior in exercising her religious beliefs as criminal acts, which led to her conviction and the imposition of an unjustly severe punishment ... The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation notes that a guilty verdict must be decided on reliable evidence.”

Margarita herself added: "The court did not establish in my actions such motivating reasons for behavior as political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred or enmity."

The case of Margarita Moiseenko and others in Zeya

Case History
In October 2020, searches were carried out in 8 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which were supervised by the FSB. In November 2021, a criminal case was initiated against Margarita Moiseenko, whose husband Konstantinhas already been sentenced to 6 years suspended for believing in Jehovah God, Galina Yatsyk and Yelena Yatsyk for participating in the activities of an extremist organization. The women were given a written undertaking not to leave the place. In March 2023, their case went to court. The prosecutor requested 2.5 to 3 years in prison for women. In September, the court sentenced them to suspended sentences: Margarita Moiseenko to three years, Elena Yatsyk to two and a half, and Galina Yatsyk to two years. In November, an appeal upheld the verdict, excluding the ban on holding certain positions.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Amur Region
Suspected of:
According to the investigation, "realizing that by his actions he undermines the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the state ... were directly involved in... religious events."
Court case number:
November 22, 2021
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Branch of the Federal Security Service of Russia in the Amur Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Court of First Instance:
Зейский районный суд Амурской области
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Иван Моисеенко
Case History