Updated: April 15, 2024
Name: Miretskiy Aleksey Petrovich
Date of Birth: December 14, 1975
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 92 day in a pre-trial detention, 592 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of 2 years of imprisonment to be served in a penal colony of general regime; with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to management and participation in the work of public organizations for a period of 5 years, with restriction of freedom for a period of 1 year
Currently held in: Penal Colony #1 of UFSIN for Orenburg Region
Address for correspondence: Aleksey Petrovich Miretskiy, 1975 born, Penal Colony #1 of UFSIN for Orenburg Region, Krymski per., 119, Orenburg, 460026, Russian Federation

Biography

Candidate of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor Aleksey Miretskiy is one of six Saratov residents who served a prison sentence for their faith in a colony. On August 3, 2021, he left the place of detention.

Aleksey was born in 1975 in Pskov. He has an elder sister. Their father was an airborne colonel, and their mother worked as an accountant. In connection with the military service of his father, the family often changed their place of residence: Pskov, Vitebsk, Minsk (Belarus), Kalvaria (Lithuania). Since 1993, Aleksey has been living permanently in Saratov.

As a child, Aleksey had many hobbies: running, wrestling, boxing, dancing, table tennis, collecting stamps and coins, photography, theater. He also wrote poetry. Aleksey graduated from school with a gold medal.

After graduating from the University of Economics with honors in 1997, Aleksey received a specialty in banking, taught banking at the university for several years. At the same time he worked in a bank in the field of marketing and personnel, and later in a large retail network. In total, he worked in the banking sector for 13 years.

In the early 1990s, Aleksey’s fiancee introduced him to Bible teachings. Both of them were still students. Aleksey’s heart was touched by high moral standards and biblical principles regarding family life. “Unlike young people at the university, Christian youth lived according to the moral standards that were instilled in me from childhood and which most people rejected with the collapse of the USSR. Unlike the confusing human philosophies I studied at university, biblical truth is very simple and beautiful,” he says.

Aleksey had to quit his job under pressure from his superiors, who feared threats from the FSB because of the employee's religious views. Having turned out to be a defendant in a criminal case for his faith, Aleksey could not find a job for several months, despite his rich knowledge and experience. Wherever he worked, he received gratitude for his conscientious and hard work. A lie detector test was carried out at the bank, and the conclusion was written: "pathologically honest."

Aleksey’s wife Yuliya also graduated from the University of Economics. They got married in 1996. Yuliya devoted most of her life to raising her daughter and taking care of her family. The spouses take care of the personal plot and often relax on it with friends. Aleksey reads a lot, loves to walk in nature, ride a horse, pick mushrooms, ski, play educational games with family and friends of different ages. Aleksey’s family traveled a lot until he ended up under recognizance not to leave, and then in prison because of his religion.

The couple raised their daughter Mariya, who graduated with honors from high school and the College of Culinary Arts. Mariya is a florist by profession, knows three languages, writes poetry and stories, and is engaged in painting. Her photo is posted on the district honor board. Mariya lives separately from her parents. “My daughter and I have always spent a lot of time together and are very attached to each other,” says Aleksey. “The search and recognizance not to leave made it impossible for me to see my daughter, to whom I was planning to fly to visit.”

Aleksey's colleagues were shocked by his criminal prosecution due to charges of extremism. The company's management was unhappy with the loss of a valuable employee. Aleksey’s mother, who does not share his religious views, sent the question to the direct line of the President of the Russian Federation about what exactly is the “extremism” of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Despite the absurdity of the charges, in September 2019, Aleksey was sent to a colony for 2 years.

Case History

In September 2019, Judge Dmitry Larin immediately sent 6 Saratov residents to prison for a term of 2 to 3.5 years just for reading the Bible, singing songs and praying. Since 2017, security forces have been conducting covert surveillance of believers. In the summer of 2018, their homes were searched with banned literature planted. While the investigation was underway, they had to go to a pre-trial detention center, under house arrest and under recognizance not to leave. A year later, despite the absence of victims in the case, the believers were found guilty. Upon arrival at the Orenburg colony, 5 out of 6 convicted believers were beaten by the staff of the institution. Mahammadiev was hospitalized, and the rest were placed in a punishment cell for a while. Saratov prisoners of conscience have mastered various professions in prison. In May 2020, Mahammadiev and Bazhenov were stripped of their Russian citizenship and, after their release, deported from Russia. All 6 believers have already served their sentences. In September 2022, the cassation court dismissed the complaint, and the verdict and the appellate ruling were unchanged.