Case of Gerasimov in Yalta

Case History

In March 2019, Artyom Gerasimov, a cook by profession, was accused of organizing the activities of an extremist organization. So the investigation called the peaceful conversations of the believer on religious topics and reading the Bible in a close circle, seeing in this a “public danger.” The apartments of Gerasimov and other believers were searched. A year later, the Yalta City Court sentenced him to a fine of 400 thousand rubles, but on June 4, 2020, the Supreme Court of Crimea toughened the sentence, replacing the fine with 6 years in prison. After Artyom was sent to the colony, the FSB officers began to “develop” his friends and acquaintances.

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    March 15, 2019

    The Investigative Department of the FSB of Russia for the Republic of Crimea initiates a criminal case for faith under Article 282.2 (1); According to the investigation, together with others, he conducted worship services, which is interpreted as "organizing the activities of an extremist organization" (with reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to liquidate all 396 registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses). An innocent victim of law enforcement officers becomes: Artyom Gerasimov (born in 1985).

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    March 20, 2019 Search
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    April 3, 2019 Search
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    February 10, 2020

    At the trial of Artyom Gerasimov in Yalta, the state prosecutor requested for him 6.5 years in prison with serving in a general regime colony, 1 year of restriction of freedom, 3 years of ban on engaging in certain activities. Which one, the prosecutor did not specify.

    The adjournment of the process was announced until 20.02.2020, when the debate of the parties should continue.

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    February 13, 2020

    At about 9 a.m., law enforcement agencies are for inspection in the apartment of a resident of Yalta, Taras Kuzo. The security forces intend to open the door with the help of a grinder, but the believer manages to let them into the apartment. The search is led by Lieutenant Gainiev, an operative of the FSB of Russia for the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Law enforcement officers read out the court order for inspection, but do not give Taras a copy of the document. Electronic devices and personal records are seized from the believer. A few months ago, the security forces tried to find something forbidden in the believer's house, but to no avail.

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    March 3, 2020

    In the Yalta City Court, Artyom Gerasimov makes his last speech. In an interview with reporters, he explains:

    "I believe that faith is quite natural for a person. I do not intend to betray my faith, to depart from the faith. I will continue to live according to my faith. I hope that the fairest decision will be made. For me, it is the only one - it is a complete justification. Because you cannot, I believe, judge a person for his faith."

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    March 5, 2020

    Vladimir Romanenko, judge of the Yalta City Court, sentences Artyom Gerasimov to a fine of 400,000 rubles for his faith.

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    June 4, 2020 Court of Appeal

    The Supreme Court of Crimea is considering the appeals of the believer, who asked to be found innocent, and the prosecutor's office, which considered the sentence too lenient. The panel of judges toughens the punishment for talking about God: instead of a fine of 400 thousand rubles, Gerasimov was sentenced to 6 years in prison. The believer was taken into custody in the courtroom.

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    June 6, 2020

    Artyom Gerasimov's lawyer reports on the conditions in which the believer is held in Krasnodar pre-trial detention center No. 1: there are not enough personal cutlery for everyone, so they have to use them in turn with other prisoners; He was allowed to go for a walk only once in a week - in a larger cell with a bars in the ceiling through which he could see the sky.

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    July 27, 2020

    Artyom Gerasimov is transferred to SIZO-1 in the Krasnodar Territory. On the day of his arrival, 15 people find themselves in a cell designed for 10 places, as a result of which Gerasimov and four other prisoners spend the night without sleep. The next day, 10 people remain in the cell. How long the believer will stay in the pre-trial detention center before being transferred to the colony is still unknown.

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    July 30, 2020

    Artyom's lawyer once again visits the believer in the place of detention. He says that at the time of arrival at the pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Krasnodar, there were 15 people in the cell for 10 beds, so he and 4 other people spent the entire first night without sleep. The next day, the situation changed and everyone was provided with a personal bed.

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    August 16, 2020 Life in prison

    Artem says that in the colony he is employed in a sewing workshop, where mainly rubberized suits and masks are made. He is forced to work 6 days a week.

    Artyom's acquaintances and friends report calls from the FSB with persistent offers to "talk". Two security officials come to one of Artyom's acquaintances right at the workplace. For half an hour, they ask her questions about whether she knows Jehovah's Witnesses and whether her family and friends are believers. She is also asked questions about Gerasimov and the circumstances of their acquaintance.

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    May 20, 2021 Life in prison

    The lawyer visits Artyom Gerasimov in penal colony No. 12 in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky. The believer does not complain about his health. Although he had symptoms of COVID-19 in October 2020, he recovered quickly.

    Prior to the arrival of the lawyer, Artem was not given letters of support from friends and relatives. However, a few days after visiting the lawyer, the believer received a packet of correspondence for the first time.

    Artem works 6 days a week from 7 am to 7:30 pm in the sewing workshop. According to him, it is easier for him to be in production than in a barracks among 20 or more people who are not engaged in active work. For hard work, Artem has already received two awards.

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    February 28, 2022 Life in prison

    It becomes known that Artyom Gerasimov was transferred from Penal Colony No. 12 in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky to Penal Colony No. 10 in Rostov-on-Don

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    May 5, 2023 Life in prison

    The attitude of the administration towards Artyom Gerasimov is good. In the colony, he sews medical gowns. In one of the months after the deductions, his salary amounted to 2 rubles 6 kopecks.

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    January 3, 2024 Life in prison Letters

    Artyom Gerasimov recently suffered a cold. He still works in the sewing workshop. The believer's relations with his cellmates and administration are neutral.

    Artem has a Bible. Once every two weeks, he is given 20-30 letters and parcels.