Updated: April 19, 2024
Name: Martynov Nikolay Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: August 26, 1958
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Time spent in prison: 2 day in a temporary detention facility, 927 day in a pre-trial detention
Current restrictions: Detention center
Sentence: punishment in the form of 7 years of imprisonment with serving a sentence in a general regime colony, with deprivation of the right to engage in organizational activities in public or religious associations, public or religious organizations for a term of 5 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year 2 months
Currently held in: Detention Centre No. 1 in Irkutsk Region
Address for correspondence: Martynov Nikolay Alekseyevich, born 1958, Detention Centre No. 1 in Irkutsk Region, ul. Barrikad, 63, Irkutsk, Russia, 664019

Letters of support can be sent by regular mail or through the «FSIN-letter system». To pay for service with the card of a foreign bank use Prisonmail.

Note: discussing topics related to criminal prosecution is not allowed in letters; languages other than Russian will not pass.


After a series of searches in Irkutsk in October 2021, 63-year-old Nikolay Martynov was detained for his faith. For 20 years he practiced a religion that the authorities recognized as peaceful and legal, but later declared "extremist."

Nikolay was born in 1958 into a large family: he has six brothers and sisters. The family lived in the village of Bandarka (Irkutsk region). As a child, Nikolay often went fishing with his father. After school, he studied at a vocational school as a combine operator and driver, which he worked for all his life.

In 1982, Nikolay married Irina. She is a cook by profession and worked in a kindergarten. Now Irina is retired and loves to bake homemade bread. In 1997, she met believers and began reading the Bible. New knowledge prompted Irina to leave the position in which she was forced to act dishonestly. Soon his husband also showed interest in the Bible: the fulfilling Bible prophecies convinced Nikolay that this book can be trusted. The couple later became Christians together.

Nikolay and Irina have two adult children, whom they raised in accordance with the principles from the Holy Scriptures. The son is an individual entrepreneur. In his leisure time, he enjoys snowboarding. The daughter works as a laboratory assistant at the university. The family enjoys spending time in nature. Nikolay still loves fishing, and also pleases loved ones by playing the accordion.

The life of a friendly family, whose members are used to doing everything together, has changed a lot after Nikolay's detention. His health deteriorated, a chronic illness worsened, which made it difficult for him to speak. Relatives who do not share Nikolay's convictions are concerned about his unfair persecution.

Case History

In October 2021, a series of searches took place in Irkutsk and the Irkutsk region, which were accompanied by pogroms and brutal beatings of peaceful believers. It turned out that Yaroslav Kalin, Sergey Kosteev, Nikolay Martynov, Mikhail Moysh, Aleksey Solnechny, Andrey Tolmachev, and Sergey Vasilyev are suspected of extremism for practicing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). After searches and interrogations, the security forces detained seven men, and soon six of them were sent to a pre-trial detention center, and one was placed under house arrest. After 2 months, law enforcement officers conducted two more searches: in the village of Askiz (Republic of Khakassia) in the home of Denis Sarazhakov and in the city of Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo region) with Igor Popov. Both of them were arrested, taken more than 1500 km to Irkutsk and placed in custody. In December 2022, the case of the believers went to court. In January 2024, the court sentenced them to various terms of imprisonment in a penal colony, from 3 to 7 years, satisfying the prosecutor’s request.