Illustrative photo

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Believers Were Searched in Vladivostok. One Was Beaten, the Other Was Arrested

Primorye Territory

On December 7, 2023, searches were carried out in Vladivostok at at least five addresses of believers, including the home of an elderly man. A believer, 19, was detained and placed in a pre-trial detention center for 2 months, while another man was beaten by security forces.

Demanding to give the password from the phone, the man was hit several times with a rubber truncheon. Later, he went to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a bruise of internal organs. He needs treatment.

During interrogation by the Investigative Committee, believers were asked questions about their religious beliefs, as well as about their participation in Jehovah's Witnesses worship services. They were also required to incriminate co-religionists.

The search took place as part of the criminal case of Yuriy Byche and others in Vladivostok.

With the exception of the victims of the December 7 search, another 26 Jehovah's Witnesses are being persecuted for their faith in Vladivostok, six of whom have already been convicted.

The case of Byche and Others in Vladivostok

Case History
In Vladivostok, three of Jehovah’s Witnesses were detained and placed in a temporary detention facility for two days after searches in March 2023. Yegor Pogrebnyak was released and put under house arrest, and Yuriy Byche and Sergey Novoselov were sent to a pre-trial detention center. A criminal case has been initiated against the believers under an extremist article. Later, Tatyana Kazakova, Marina Roslova, Alina Tkachenko, Anastasiya Dyldina and Yelena Romanova became defendants in the case. In December, after new searches, Kirill Chekolayev was arrested and placed in a pre-trial detention center. At the end of February 2024, Yuriy Byche and Sergey Novoselov were released from the pre-trial detention center under a prohibition on certain actions.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Primorye Territory
Court case number:
February 26, 2023
Current case stage:
Preliminary investigation
Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Primorsky Territory
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.2 (2)
Case History