Updated: February 23, 2024
Name: Baev Sergey Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: April 19, 1973
Current status: Defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 2 day in a temporary detention facility, 19 day in a pre-trial detention, 122 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: Prohibition of certain actions

Biography

Since the summer of 2020, Sergey Baev, a hard-working landscaping worker from Voronezh, has been persecuted for his religious beliefs. Neither the good reputation of a peaceful believer, nor his serious health problems prevented law enforcement officers from accusing him of a serious criminal offense.

Sergey was born in April 1973 in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan). He has a younger sister. Their parents divorced when the children were 5 and 7 years old, and their mother raised them alone.

As a child, Sergey was fond of football and chess, for five years he learned to play the accordion at a music school. After school, he received the profession of a mechanical technician for the installation, repair and maintenance of refrigeration equipment.

For some time Sergey worked in his specialty, after that he was engaged in the maintenance of buildings, and before the criminal prosecution, the improvement of streets and parks. After a stay in a pre-trial detention center and under house arrest, Sergey was again taken to his former place of work in the Improvement Plant. In December 2021, he was awarded a certificate of honor for his good work.

The Bible impressed Sergey with its internal coherence. In 1994, he decided to take the Christian path. In 2003, Sergey married Olga, a geologist by profession. She shares his love for the Bible. Olga noted that the biblical creation story is consistent with modern geological data. Together, the couple raised their daughter Olga. In 2012 the family moved to Voronezh.

Sergey has serious vision problems. Against the backdrop of criminal prosecution, myopia has significantly worsened, and other diseases have also become aggravated. Due to his detention in a pre-trial detention center and subsequent house arrest, Sergey could not provide for his family for several months, for which his earnings were the main income.

Sergey's employees are aware of the persecution and worry about the believer. His family and friends try to provide the necessary support.

Case history

In one day, July 13, 2020, 110 searches were carried out in 7 settlements of the Voronezh Region — a record-breaking operation against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Five believers reported torture by the security forces. Ten men aged 24 to 56 years were charged by the Investigative Committee with organizing extremist activities and sent them to prison, where most of them were held for almost 5 months. The events in Voronezh caused a wide public outcry: the EU countries, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States, expressed regret and bewilderment in connection with the incident. The believers themselves do not admit guilt in extremism and emphasize that, as Christians, they respect the authorities and peacefully practice their religion in accordance with constitutional law. Consideration of the case in court began in December 2021. Believers face up to 10 years in prison.