In the courtroom, Valeriy Baylo is showing letters that he received during his imprisonment

Unjust Verdicts

In Three Hearings, the Court Sentenced One of Jehovah's Witnesses From Kholmskaya, 66, to 2.5 Years in a Penal Colony for His Beliefs

Krasnodar Territory

On July 3, 2024, Sergey Mikhin, judge of the Abinsk District Court, declared the peaceful believer Valeriy Baylo an extremist for discussing the Bible via video conferencing. He pleads not guilty and can appeal the verdict.

Three months earlier, on April 2, the believer was summoned to the police department in the village of Akhtyrsky. From there he was taken to the Investigative Committee in Abinsk, where he was interrogated and then sent to a temporary detention facility. The next day, Baylo's home was searched. They seized his electronic devices as well as literature, which he had found on the street and brought home to light the stove. Then the believer was placed in a pretrial detention center.

On June 13, the believer's case went to by the Abinsk District Court. The first hearing came as a surprise to Valeriy. He was given a few minutes to get ready, was put in a car and taken to court, therefore, he could not prepare for the trial. And already at the third session, the judge passed a guilty verdict under Article 282.2(2) of the RFCrC (participating in the activity of an extremist organization).

In the pretrial detention center, Baylo's health has deteriorated: his chronic illnesses have worsened, he needs urgent dental care and knee surgery. The believer and his lawyer repeatedly sent requests for medical assistance to the administration of the pretrial detention center, but it has never been provided.

Before his arrest, Valeriy Baylo was living alone. After he ended up in the pretrial detention center, his relatives discovered that a large amount of money had disappeared from the house, which had not been seized during the search. He had already faced loss of property in the past. Due to a default, he lost all his savings and, with his children, whom he raised alone after the death of his wife, was forced to live on the territory of a factory for 7 years without electricity and water.

Valeriy Baylo is not the first Jehovah's Witness whose case was considered by the Abinsk District Court in the shortest possible time, making it impossible to grasp the essence of the charge and to exercise the right to a comprehensive defense. Vasiliy Meleshko was sentenced to a term in the penal colony in just 2 sessions, Aleksandr Ivshin — in 4. All 8 Jehovah's Witnesses, whose criminal cases were heard in the Abinsk District Court, received terms of imprisonment for their faith.

The case of Baylo in Kholmskaya

Case History
In March 2024, a criminal case was opened against Valeriy Bailo under the article on participation in the activities of an extremist organization. A few days later, the man was summoned to the Investigative Committee for interrogation, after which his house was searched, and the believer himself was placed in a pre-trial detention center. On June 26, 2024, the first court hearing was held, and on July 3, Bailo was sentenced to 2.5 years in a penal colony.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Krasnodar Territory
Suspected of:
"disseminated the ideology of the extremist organization Jehovah's Witnesses, conducted and listened to lectures based on the religious literature "Jehovah's Witnesses", revealing the religious ideological doctrine of the doctrine of the extremist organization "Jehovah's Witnesses"" (from the decision to bring as an accused)
Court case number:
March 28, 2024
Current case stage:
verdict did not take effect
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Абинский районный суд Краснодарского края
Сергей Михин
Case History