Updated: April 19, 2024
Name: Seidkuliev Rustam Ataevich
Date of Birth: July 17, 1977
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Time spent in prison: 1 day in a temporary detention facility, 77 day in a pre-trial detention, 216 day Under house arrest, 611 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 2 years 4 months, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year, with serving a sentence of imprisonment in a correctional colony of general regime


In May 2021, the court found Rustam Seidkuliev guilty of participating in extremist activities and sentenced him to 2.5 years in prison for his faith. Later, the court of appeal reduced this period by 2 months.

Rustam was born in 1977 in Ashgabat (former Turkmen SSR). As a child, he was engaged in freestyle wrestling, martial arts. He graduated from college and acquired the profession of a telephone master. He worked as a finisher. In his free time he was fond of music — he played the guitar.

In 1993, Rustam became interested in Bible teachings, and after 2 years his mother joined him. He was impressed by the inner consistency of the Bible, its life-saving advice and fulfilling prophecies.

Rustam's religious convictions do not allow taking up arms, so he refused to do military service. For refusing to join the army, he was twice convicted (in 1995 and 1996) and spent 1 year and 8 months in a general regime colony.

In 2000, the family moved from Turkmenistan to Saratov, as Rustam's stepfather was deported from the country because of his religion.

A year after the move, Rustam met his future wife Yuliya, who at that time had already been a Christian for 8 years. She is a seamstress by profession, loves music and plays the piano. Yuliya is a housewife. The couple like movies, picnics, table tennis, bowling.

The severe stress after the arrest of her husband undermined Yuliya's health. Relatives, friends and clients of Rustam are outraged that a peace-loving person was thrown behind bars only because of his faith in God.

Case History

In January 2020, the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against Rustam Seidkuliev. He was accused of extremism for reading and discussing the Bible. Two weeks later, the police detained a believer in a shopping center in Adler. He was transported to the city of Saratov and placed under house arrest for seven months. In March 2021, Seidkuliev’s case came to court. Two months later he was found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years in a general regime colony. The regional court reduced this period by two months. The Court of Cassation approved this decision. Seidkuliev served his sentence in Penal Colony-33 in Saratov. During this time, the FSB accomplished the revocation of his Russian citizenship. In April 2023, the believer was released from the colony, and in September he was deported to Turkmenistan.