Updated: June 24, 2024
Name: Abdullaev Arsen Nazimovich
Date of Birth: January 21, 1979
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Time spent in prison: 361 day in a pre-trial detention, 882 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years 6 months of imprisonment with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of religious public organizations for a period of 5 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 4 years


After a raid on the homes of believers in Dagestan on June 1, 2019, law enforcement officers detained four civilians — one woman and three men. Three days later, the Sovetsky District Court of Makhachkala sent all four to a pre-trial detention center. Among them is Arsen Abdullayev, who was charged with organizing extremist activities only because of his religion. What do we know about this man?

Arsen was born in 1979 in the village of Kasumkent (Dagestan) in a family of doctors. His father was an anesthesiologist, his mother worked as deputy chief physician. The father is no longer alive, as well as one of Arsen's two brothers. As a child, he was fond of volleyball and loved to read.

After graduating from school, Arsen graduated with a degree in winemaking. He also started, but did not finish, his studies as an economist. To provide for his family, he worked in a variety of places, including a laborer. Recently, he has been engaged in the maintenance of heating and plumbing systems. In his free time he likes to play football and volleyball, fish, and learns English. On his own, he mastered playing the guitar by self-instruction.

Arsen's mother is a deeply religious Muslim woman who twice made the Hajj to Mecca. However, Arsen himself in 2000 made a conscious choice in favor of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. He was struck by the moral and spiritual purity, brotherly love and strong family ties among people who live according to the commandments of the Bible. Both of Arsen's parents initially resisted his religious choice, but later softened their attitude, seeing changes for the better in it.

Also in 2000, Arsen married Suat, an artist-teacher by profession. She taught arts and crafts at school, now devotes most of her time to her family and raising her son Mirza, who was born a year after the wedding. Until 2014, Arsen and his family lived in Makhachkala, then moved to nearby Kaspiysk. The whole family is happy to go out with friends to nature, Mirza and her dad love to fish, and Suat plays the piano well.

Arsen's mother and brother, as well as Suat's parents and brother and sister, are extremely upset and outraged by the criminal prosecution of Arsen for his faith. "The whole family knows Arsen as peaceful, kind, sympathetic, always ready to help with advice and deeds," says his wife. - Everyone understands that the criminal case against him is fabricated. Everyone is very worried, constantly interested in Arsen's well-being. Relatives do not lose hope that justice will be served."

Case History

In the summer of 2019, the homes of local Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched in four cities of Dagestan. Two religious brochures on the list of extremist materials were planted in one of the homes. Prior to this, the FSB initiated a criminal case against Arsen Abdullaev, Anton Dergalev, Marat Abdulgalimov and Mariya Karpova, accusing them of organizing the activities of an extremist organization. Additionally, the three men were charged with financing a banned organization, while the woman was charged with involving others in it. All four were put on the Rosfinmonitoring list of extremists and terrorists. The believers spent 362 days in pre-trial detention, after which they were placed under house arrest. In 2020, the cassation court declared that their detention in a pre-trial detention center for 8 out of 12 months was unlawful. In March 2021, the consideration of the case on the merits began. In November 2022, the court gave Abdullayev, Abdulgalimov and Dergalev 6.5 year suspended sentences and gave Karpova a 6 year suspended sentence.