In the photo on the left: Dmitry Kuzin, on the right: Anatoly Artamonov (photo from the site

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

The arrested Jehovah's Witness wrote an open letter to the governor of the Kaluga region. Its text is given

Kaluga Region

Dmitry Kuzin, who is being held in jail because of his faith, wrote an open letter to the governor of the Kaluga region, Anatoly Artamonov. The full text of the letter is below.

The believer was arrested on June 26, 2019. Together with him, another resident of Kaluga, Roman Makhnev, ended up in the pre-trial detention center. The investigation considers it a crime only that both profess the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses.

In his letter, Dmitry Kuzin draws attention to violations during the investigation and false accusations of extremism.

Letter from Dmitry Kuzin:

An Open Letter
To the Governor of the Kaluga Region
Artamonov Anatoly Dmitrievich
from a prisoner in pre-trial detention center No. 1 in the Kaluga region
Kuzina Dmitry Yevgenievich, b. 10.07.1965

Dear Anatoly Dmitrievich!

On 26.06.2019, the Investigative Directorate of the FSB Directorate for the Kaluga Region initiated a criminal case under 11907290001000019Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to the investigation, I allegedly "took active organizational actions aimed at continuing illegal activities in the territory of the city of Kaluga, which was banned by the court of the LRO of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Kaluga, expressed in the unification of the followers of the world organization of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the territory of the city of Kaluga under a single leadership; convening meetings in residential premises; organization of religious speeches and services at these meetings", etc.

Law enforcement officers mistakenly interpret the peaceful religion of citizens as "participation in extremist activities." Prominent public figures of Russia, the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, as well as the President himself have already drawn attention to this problem. The Russian government stated that the decisions of the Russian courts on the liquidation and prohibition of organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses "do not assess the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, do not contain a restriction or prohibition to practice the above teachings individually."

But despite this, my wife and I were illegally searched in my apartment on the night of June 26-27, 2019 without a court order. All this time I was handcuffed, although I did not offer any resistance. We were not allowed to move freely around the apartment. The FSB officer E.V. Beijing, who led the search, exerted emotional pressure on my wife and me, raised his voice. Our personal belongings were seized. On 28.06.2019, the judge of the Kaluga District Court of the Kaluga Region, M.A. Lvov, chose a measure of restraint for me in the form of detention for a period of 2 months, later this decision was upheld. On 26.08.2019, my stay in the pre-trial detention center was extended by 2 months despite the serious chronic diseases that I have and which require regular examination and treatment, which is impossible in the pre-trial detention center. The relevant medical documents were submitted to the courts, but this was not taken into account.

My wife appealed to the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Kaluga Region Zelnikov Y.I., to the Commissioner for Human Rights Moskalkova T.N., my lawyers appealed to Fedotov M.A., Chairman of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.

Dear Anatoly Dmitrievich, I would like to ask you to pay attention to my situation, to the fact that my constitutional right to freedom of religion has been violated, to the fact that I am being persecuted for my faith. I have nothing to do with extremism, I am a peaceful person, I am well characterized at my place of work and I am not guilty of the crimes of which I am accused.

Kuzin Dmitry Evgenievich

Case of Makhnev and Kuzin in Kaluga

Case history

Persons in case

Criminal case

Kaluga Region
Suspected of:
According to the investigation they took active organizational measures, expressed in the unification of followers of the world organization of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the city of Kaluga and the Kaluga Region, under one leadership; convening meetings in living quarters located in the territory of the city of Kaluga and the Kaluga region; organizing religious performances and services at these meetings; carrying out preaching activity
Court case number:
June 26, 2019
Current case stage:
Preliminary investigation
Investigation Department of FSSD of Russia for Kaluga Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)