Aleksandr Chagan, February 2024

Unjust Verdicts

Court of Appeal in Samara Upheld the Harsh Sentence of One of Jehovah's Witnesses — 8 Years in a Penal Colony

Samara Region

On May 16, 2024, the verdict against Aleksandr Chagan, 53, entered into force based on the decision of a panel of judges of the Samara Regional Court. He became the sixth on the list of Jehovah's Witnesses who were sent to a penal colony for such a long time by Russian courts.

"In my case, Christian values and qualities were rated worthy of 8 years in a penal colony," the believer commented regarding this. In his final statement, Chagan told the court of appeal that he has been living according to Bible standards for more than 20 years, and this has changed his life only for the better: "There is no reason whatsoever to accuse someone of inciting hatred and enmity, who learns to show love for people and respect for their opinions and view on life."

The believer intends to appeal the verdict and the decision of the court of appeal in the court of cassation. Currently, he is being held in Detention Center No. 4 in the Samara Region and will soon be transferred to the place where he will serve his sentence.

The Case of Chagan in Tolyatti

Case History
The first search in the family home of Aleksandr and Yekaterina Chagan took place in March 2022. Six months later, in September, law enforcement officers again invaded their house through the window. They forced the family on the floor and handcuffed the head of the family, and then conducted a search. Late at night Aleksandr was taken for interrogation to the Investigative Committee, after which he was sent to a temporary detention facility. The court released him under a recognizance agreement. On the same day, Aleksandr became a defendant in a criminal case – he was accused of organizing the activity of an extremist association. In July 2023, the case went to court. At the trial, a secret witness testified as well as experts, whose conclusions, according to the defense, were biased, not scientific and unfounded. In March 2024, he was sentenced to 8 years in a penal colony. The court of appeal upheld the verdict.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Samara Region
Court case number:
September 14, 2022
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Central Interdistrict Investigation Department of Tolyatti of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Samara Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
1-46/2024 (1-527/2023)
Court of First Instance:
Центральный районный суд г. Тольятти
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Виктория Горбашева
Case History