Updated: June 24, 2024
Name: Gezik Anatoliy Petrovich
Date of Birth: December 17, 1967
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 4 years 2 months, the punishment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 3 years

Biography

Anatoly Gezik, together with his wife, Irina , became a defendant in a criminal case for extremism in December 2019. In November 2022, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 4 years and 2 months of forced labor just because of his faith.

Anatoliy was born in 1967 in the village of Nezlobnaya, Stavropol Territory. There were two children in his family.

As a child, Anatoliy was fond of football. After school, he graduated from the College of Agricultural Mechanization in Georgievsk with a degree in mechanical engineering.

For some time Anatoliy worked in a colony for juveniles. Here he began to ask questions: what awaits these young people in the future and what is the meaning of life in general? He found answers to his questions in the Bible, which he began to study in the late 1990s.

In 1996, Anatoliy met his future wife, Irina, and in 1997 they got married. The couple love doing everything together—relaxing, travelling to the mountains; they both got jobs at the same reinforcement plant, where Anatoliy worked at a milling machine. They also care for  Anatoliy's mother together.

As a result of the criminal prosecution, Anatoliy began to have serious health problems.

Anatoliy's mother, as well as friends and neighbors of the couple, are concerned about what happened, because, according to them, they "have known Anatoly and Irina for decades and can only say good about them".

Case History

At the end of 2019, homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched in Georgievsk. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation accused Viktor Zimovskiy as well as Anatoly and Irina Gezika, a married couple, of organizing and participating in the activity of an extremist organization. The investigator considered reading the Bible and praying together to be a crime. Viktor Zimovskiy is a father of three minor children and was classed as disabled after his heart surgery. Despite this, the court placed him in a detention center for two months. The criminal case was considered in court from February to October 2022. Viktor Zimovskiy was sentenced to six years and two months in a penal colony, Anatoly Gezik was sentenced to four years and two months of forced labor, and Irina Gezik was given a suspended sentence of four years and two months. The appellate court replaced the terms of imprisonment and of forced labor with suspended sentences of the same duration.