Updated: May 28, 2024
Name: Oniszczuk Andrzej
Date of Birth: October 3, 1968
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, 327 day in a pre-trial detention
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 6 years 6 months, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of public and religious organizations for 2 years, the main punishment is considered suspended with a probationary period of 4 years


Polish citizen Andrzej Onishchuk was arrested and detained in October 2018 after a roundup of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kirov just because of his faith.

Andrzej was born in 1968 in Bialystok (Poland). In his youth, he was fond of football and weightlifting. After school, he received the profession of a turner and worked in Poland in this specialty.

In 1997, Andrzej moved to Russia, where he lived and worked as an individual entrepreneur in Kirov. Here he met Anna, whom he married in 2002.

Andrzej and Anna love being in nature, picking mushrooms, playing football. Andrzej loves Russian literature and enjoys reading Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak.

Relatives and friends of Andrzej, according to the believer, “cannot believe that in our time, in the 21st century, people are accused of religious beliefs.”

Case History

In October 2018, searches of believers were carried out in Kirov. A criminal case under extremist articles was initiated against seven local residents, five of them were taken into custody, including Polish citizen Andrzej Oniszczuk, who had been in captivity for almost a year. His fellow believers spent 3 to 11 months in jail and another 6 to 9 months under house arrest. The men were included in the Rosfinmonitoring list. One of the accused, Yuriy Geraskov, died of a long illness a week before the trial. In January 2021, court hearings began. In June 2022, the believers were given suspended sentences ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 years. Yuriy Geraskov was also found guilty of extremism, but the criminal case was dismissed due to his death. The appellate court upheld the verdict against the believers.