Photo: Yuriy Krutyakov

Inside Penal Colonies and Detention Centers

One of Jehovah’s Witnesses From Chekhov Deprived of the Bible in Jail. His Health Also Worsened

Moscow Region

Yuri Krutyakov, an elderly believer from Chekhov near Moscow, who has been languishing in a pre-trial detention center for a month, has deteriorated health. After his arrest, the Holy Scriptures were taken away from him.

67-year-old Yuriy Krutyakov was arrested on March 4, 2020 on suspicion of extremism. Now he is placed in Moscow pre-trial detention center No. 4, in a special unit for especially dangerous criminals. Yuriy suffers from a number of serious diseases of internal organs, he has undergone several operations, including on the eye, as a result of which his vision problems have become sharply complicated.

Living conditions and food in the pre-trial detention center do not contribute to the recovery of the believer. Although Yuri is not discouraged, he intends to petition for proper medical care.

Meanwhile, Yuri was deprived of the Bible, from which he could previously draw consolation. The Holy Scriptures were seized for verification, and so far the book has not been returned to the believer.

Case of Nikiforov and Others in Chekhov

Case History
The criminal case initiated in September 2019 against Chekhov residents Yuri and Zinaida Krutyakov, Konstantin Zherebtsov and Vitaly Nikiforov was based on the testimony of an FSB officer who pretended to be interested in the Bible. On the night of October 3, 2019, security forces raided the believers’ homes with searches. Zherebtsov, Nikiforov and Krutyakova were placed under house arrest. Later, Yuriy was taken to the pre-trial detention center. There he stayed for 445 days; His eyesight deteriorated sharply. In January 2021, hearings began in the Chekhov City Court of the Moscow Region. The prosecutor requested a suspended sentence of 2 to 6 years for the four defendants. On May 24, Judge Iryna Pantela gave the believers a suspended sentence: Yuriy — 6 years, Zinaida — 2 years and 3 months, Konstantin — 2 years and 2 months, Vitaliy — 2 years. All were also given various probationary periods. On July 20, 2021, the Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict, and on January 13, 2022, the cassation court did not satisfy the believers’ appeal.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Moscow Region
Suspected of:
According to the investigation he “discussed the purchase [by the FSB officer] of a tablet for subsequent downloading of prohibited literature, prayed to God Jehovah, and also informed about the circumstances of his acceptance of this faith” (from a criminal case order)
Court case number:
September 30, 2019
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Central Administration of the Investigative Commitee for the Moscow Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1), 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1.1)
Court case number:
1-31/2021 (1-380/2020)
Чеховский городской суд Московской области
Ирина Пантела
Case History