Updated: July 12, 2024
Name: Rygaev Sergey Nikolayevich
Date of Birth: September 18, 1971
Current status: accused
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 1 day in a temporary detention facility, 115 day in a pre-trial detention
Current restrictions: detention center
Currently held in: Detention Center No.1 for Omsk Region
Address for correspondence: Rygaev Sergey Nikolayevich, born 1971, SIZO No.1 for Omsk Region, ul. Ordzhonikidze, 86, Omsk, Omsk Region, 644007

Letters of support can be sent by regular mail or through the «zonatelecom».

Note: discussing topics related to criminal prosecution is not allowed in letters; languages other than Russian will not pass.

Biography

Sergey Rygaev, a respectable family man from Omsk, ended up in a pre-trial detention center in the spring of 2024. He was searched and accused of extremism only because of his faith.

Sergey was born in 1971 in the village of Nizhnekundryuchenskaya, Rostov Region. He has an elder sister. In 1972, the family moved to Kurgan.

In his youth, Sergey was engaged in classical wrestling and motocross. After school, in Kurgan, he graduated from a construction college and later mastered the skills of a roofer and other construction professions. But for most of his life until his arrest, he worked as a tinsmith.

Sergey began to reflect on the meaning of life and justice in society when he returned from the army. Soon he met Jehovah's Witnesses, began to study the Bible, and believed in God. In 1993, the man decided to take the Christian path.

In 1995, Sergey married Oksana. She shares his religious views. The couple has an adult son. He graduated from school with honors and, like his father, works as a tinsmith. In his spare time, he studies English and Tatar languages, masters programming. In 2006, the family moved to live in Omsk.

Sergey loves fishing, and he is also an avid mushroom picker. He likes to run, ride a bike, go to the bathhouse. Oksana loves to read, plays musical instruments, and is also fond of volleyball. Together, the couple arrange evenings with friends — sing, dance, participate in competitions. The family also loves to be in nature.

The stress of the search and arrest of her husband had a negative impact on Oksana's health. She also lost the opportunity to teach mathematics online, as electronic devices were confiscated. During the years of marriage, the couple were almost never separated for more than a couple of weeks, and after their arrest they were forbidden to see and call each other.

Sergey's relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors do not understand why he is being persecuted. They know him as a conflict-free, compliant person, an exemplary worker.

Case History

In March 2024, law enforcement officers in Omsk searched the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and dozens of believers were interrogated. During the searches, Sergey Rygaev and Leonid Pyzhov were beaten. The men were placed in a pretrial detention center. For reading the Bible with friends, they were charged with organizing the activity of an extremist organization.