Updated: February 23, 2024
Name: Guzev Konstantin Viktorovich
Date of Birth: June 16, 1964
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 2 years 6 months with restriction of liberty for 1 year; The sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 2 years

Biography

More than 20 criminal cases for faith were opened in Birobidzhan. Among those accused of extremism were Konstantin Guzev and his wife Anastasiya. The investigation lasted about 5 months, then the case was considered in court for over a year. In February 2021, a believer was given a suspended sentence of two and a half years on the basis of secret video footage of worship services and testimony from a police officer depicting an interest in the Bible.

Konstantin Guzev was born in 1964 in Khabarovsk. He has two sisters. In his youth, he was fond of active sports and drawing. After school, he received the specialties of an electrician and a gas welder, and later mastered many skills in the field of construction and repair. Recently, Konstantin was a worker at a music school, and his wife Anastasiya worked there as a cleaner.

Konstantin grew up in an unfavorable environment - his father often drank and beat his mother. In the end, the family fell apart. Konstantin often had questions about the meaning of life and did not find answers to them. He lived recklessly, trying to find solace in alcohol and drugs.

Studying the Bible helped Konstantin get answers to all his questions, abandon a destructive lifestyle and create a happy marriage. However, due to the 2017 Supreme Court decision, the family faced discrimination on religious grounds - both spouses were forced to resign, arguing that there was no place for “extremists” in a children's institution.

Because of the recognizance not to leave, Konstantin could not normally communicate with his relatives, since they all live in Khabarovsk. Although his relatives and friends do not share his religious beliefs, they wonder how such sentences can be passed on peaceful people just for believing in Jehovah God.

Case history

In February 2021, the Birobidzhan District Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region sentenced Konstantin Guzev to 2,5 years of suspended imprisonment. A criminal case for faith under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against a law-abiding builder-repairman was opened in May 2018. A similar case was brought against his wife, Anastasia. Since December 2019, his case has been considered by judge Alexei Ivashchenko. At the hearing, the prosecutor called Konstantin’s house a “crime scene” because he was discussing the Bible with friends via video link. The prosecutor requested 4 years in prison for the believer. In May 2021, the appellate court upheld the verdict, but in December 2021, the court of cassation overturned it and returned the case to the appeal stage. In March 2022, the court of the Jewish Autonomous Region in a different composition again approved the conviction. The court of cassation overturned this decision and sent the case for a new appeal. In July 2022, a decision was made to expunge the criminal record.