In June 2020, the puppet theater actor Rustam Diarov was detained and sent to jail only because of his faith, and in October 2021 the court handed him a severe sentence — 8 years in prison.
Rustam was born in 1973 in Samarkand. The family was creative: his mother worked as a theater director until her retirement. Rustam has been fond of music since childhood, after school he graduated from the Samara Institute of Culture.
In 1997, Rustam married Yelena. She shares his views on life. The couple have a son, a hairdressing master. His hobby is growing cacti. The spouses are united by a common profession: before the criminal prosecution, they worked as actors in a puppet theater. They also have a common hobby — singing with the guitar.
Rustam consciously embarked on the Christian path in 1998. Then he did not yet know that 22 years later, because of his Christian views, he would lose his favorite job and end up behind bars.
Addressing the court with his last word, Rustam shared: “Because of the criminal prosecution, my family and I faced terrible consequences: I was forcibly separated from my wife, with whom I had lived happily for almost 23 years before my arrest. Due to the intense stress caused by these events, my wife started having panic attacks and now needs the help of a psychotherapist. She also had an acute exacerbation of her eye disease and became visually impaired. Now she almost gropingly has to walk along the street, and she cannot even stop a minibus, because she does not see the number. Due to her visual impairment, my wife has to overcome enormous obstacles in her daily activities. Previously, I could help her in these matters, but now she was unfairly deprived of support. "
The stress of Rustam's unfair persecution affected his mother as well. The believer noted: “My mother, who is almost 70 years old, has a serious illness, diabetes mellitus. It also worsened as a result of intense experiences. But I am her only son, and she has no one else to rely on in this life. "