Two years and two months of forced labor and another six months of restriction of freedom — this is the sentence pronounced for Valeriy Moskalenko in the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Khabarovsk on September 2, 2019. However, the court did not support the petition for a prison term for a peaceful believer incriminated in reading the Bible.
On August 15, 2019, in the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Khabarovsk, the criminal investigation against local resident Valery Moskalenko, 52, was completed. He faces up to six years in prison because in the spring of 2018 in a hotel conference room he allegedly talked with friends about faith in Jehovah God. The case is being heard by Judge Ivan Belykh. Debate will begin August 28. The prosecution will announce the sentence they are requesting be imposed on the believer.
On the evening of August 6, 2019, four FSB officers with witnesses came to the apartment of Yevgeniy Aksenov, a native of Khabarovsk, and his family in Khabarovsk. During the search, they overturned everything and seized a computer hard drive. On July 24, 2019, an order citing criminal activity was issued to prosecute him. The decision was signed by D. Pozdnyakov, senior investigator of the investigative department of the FSB of Russia in Khabarovsk Territory. The "guilt" of Yevgeniy Aksenov, according to the investigation, is that in April 2018, he, together with friends, met in the conference hall of the hotel complex and read the Holy Scriptures. Law enforcement officials regard this as a continuation of extremist activity.
On January 29, 2019, the Khabarovsk Regional Court reversed a lower court’s decision to place Stanislav Kim in pretrial detention. In Khabarovsk, one more Witness, Valery Moskalenko, remains in prison for his faith.
Four Men Held in Pre-Trial Detention for Their Religious Beliefs Have Been Transferred to House Arrest
Vladimir Alushkin in Penza, Vitaliy Zhuk and Nikolay Polyevodov in Khabarovsk, and Valentin Osadchuk in Vladivostok have all been released from pre-trial detention.
On December 18, 2018, a new complaint entitled “Moskalenko versus Russia” was submitted to the ECHR. The Strasbourg court has been asked to give this case priority handling in line with its policies.
On 12 November 2018, the court put Vitaliy Zhuk, Nikolay Polevodov and Stanislav Kim behind bars on suspicion of worshipping Jehovah God. The arrests were preceded by an operation to catch Witnesses at a gathering in a cafe.