Updated: June 14, 2024
Name: Vyaznikov Valeriy Vladimirovich
Date of Birth: November 24, 1963
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 2 years 6 months of imprisonment with restriction of liberty for a term of 6 months, punishment in the form of imprisonment is considered conditional with a probationary period of 2 years 6 months

Biography

Valeriy Vyaznikov from Luchegorsk devoted most of his life to the hard work of mining. Now he is being persecuted by law enforcement agencies merely for his love for people and the Bible.

Valeriy was born in 1963 in the village of Sredny Urgal, Khabarovsk Territory. He grew up in a large family. His parents worked at a fur farm. As a child, Valeriy was fond of hockey, loved nature, and spent a lot of time in the forest and on the river. After he finished school, he went to work as a full-time hunter, and later he worked at the mine.

In 1990 Valeriy met his future wife, Marina, and later they moved to Luchegorsk. He worked at the Luchegorsk coal mine and then at the Primorskaya State District Power Plant.

In 1993 the couple began to study the Bible. They were interested in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the hope of a brighter future. In 1994 they became Christians. In 2000 the family moved to the village of Chegdomyn.

The Vyaznikovs have four children, two of whom are adults. In their free time, the family enjoys being in nature, picking mushrooms and berries and getting together with friends. Although Valeriy's relatives do not share his religious beliefs, they consider his persecution unjust.

Case History

In September 2018, law enforcement officers began operational-search measures against Jehovah’s Witnesses from Luchegorsk. A covert operative feigning interest in the Bible recorded his conversations with believers. In July 2021, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case in which Valery Vyaznikov from the village of Chegdomyn was accused of extremism because he had discussed the Bible with others. In December 2022, the case was transferred to a court located 1000 kilometers away from the believer’s place of residence. He was allowed to participate in most of the meetings via video conferencing. On November 7, 2023, the court sentenced Valeriy to a suspended sentence of two and a half years.