Updated: April 12, 2024
Name: Stepanov Nikolay Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: April 13, 1974
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 4 day in a temporary detention facility, 300 day in a pre-trial detention, 43 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: Suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 4 years, with deprivation of the right to engage in leadership activities in public associations for a term of 3 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year, a sentence of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 4 years
Currently held in: Detention Center No. 2 in Vologda Region
Address for correspondence: Stepanov Nikolay Aleksandrovich, born 1974, SIZO No. 2 in Vologda Region, ul. Trudovaya, 2, g. Vologda, Vologda Region, Russia, 160019

Biography

Nikolay Stepanov was accused in a criminal case of extremism only because of his faith in 2019. In the fall of 2022, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 4 years in prison.

Nikolay was born in 1974 in Vologda. He has two younger sisters. Their mother is no longer alive. As a child, Nikolay was fond of skiing. After school, he received the specialty of a turner. After serving in the army, he worked by profession, for some time he was engaged in decorating apartments.

As a child, Nikolay was fond of skiing. After school, he received the specialty of a turner. After serving in the army, he worked by profession, for some time he was engaged in decorating apartments.

According to Nikolay himself, he was an atheist, but he thought about how complex the human body is. In the mid-1990s, Nikolay met Alla, and she shared with him the Bible knowledge she had recently acquired with the help of her mother. Young people were convinced of the existence of God, and decided to take the Christian path.

In 1997, Nikolay and Alla got married. They raised their son Vyacheslav. The family loves camping together in nature, fishing, and skiing in winter. Alla takes care of the garden with pleasure.

Relatives of Nikolay, including his father, are at a loss because of what happened to a peaceful believer. Nikolay is known as a compliant, self-possessed person, always ready to help others. He himself emphasized in court: “Since I became a Christian, the meaning of my life has been to please God, whose name is Jehovah, and to help people recognize him. What I am accused of ascribing bad motives is completely at variance with both the beliefs of my religion and with my inner self".

Case History

In December 2019, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated a criminal case against two Jehovah’s Witnesses from Vologda. On the same day, searches were conducted in the homes of several believers, and Yuriy Baranov and Nikolay Stepanov were detained. Yuriy spent 1 day in a temporary detention facility and almost 3 months under house arrest; Nikolay spent 4 days in a temporary detention facility, then 8 months in a pre-trial detention center, after which he was placed under house arrest for 43 days. The believers were accused of organizing the activity of an extremist organization. According to the investigation, their criminal actions consisted of “arranging meetings and organizing religious talks and worship”. In January 2022, the case went to court. In September, Baranov was given a 4-year suspended sentence, and Stepanov was sentenced to 4 years in a penal colony. The appeal resulted in a more lenient sentence for Stepanov; his prison term was replaced with a suspended sentence. Baranov’s sentence remained unchanged.