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Left to right: Brother Aleksandr Prianikov, Sister Venera Dulova, and her daughter Sister Darya Dulova, prior to their trial

JANUARY 24, 2020
RUSSIA

One Brother and Two Sisters Face Criminal Conviction in Karpinsk, Russia

The Karpinsk City Court is expected to announce its verdict on Monday, January 27, 2020, in the trial involving Sisters Venera and Darya Dulova as well as Brother Aleksandr Prianikov. The prosecutor has requested a three-year suspended prison sentence for Brother Prianikov and Sister Venera Dulova, as well as a two-year suspended sentence for Sister Darya Dulova.

On April 19, 2016, Brother Prianikov and Sister Venera Dulova spoke with a man about the Bible. A relative of the man accused Brother Prianikov and Sister Dulova of theft and called the police. Both were taken to the police department. The police fingerprinted them and seized their literature.

Based on that incident, more than two years later they were again taken into custody for questioning. Their phones and other personal documents were seized. The chief of police assigned an assistant professor of theology to examine the information on the phones of Brother Prianikov and Sister Dulova. The professor’s 15-page report concluded that their devices contained the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Largely on that basis, the prosecution initiated a criminal case. The Karpinsk City Court subsequently authorized the authorities to search their homes.

During the search of Sister Dulova’s apartment, the officers seized electronic devices, books, and photographs. Sister Dulova’s 18-year-old daughter, Darya, was interrogated. Officers went on to search the home of their relatives as well as Brother Prianikov’s apartment.

Again, on the morning of April 16, 2019, three Federal Security Service (FSB) agents, an investigator, and two other officers, raided Brother Prianikov’s home. The officers confiscated electronic devices and other personal items.

On July 23, 2019, Sister Darya Dulova was summoned for questioning as a suspect in the criminal case involving her mother and Brother Prianikov. All three were indicted, and preliminary hearings for their case began in September 2019.

On behalf of these three Witnesses and our nearly 300 other brothers and sisters facing criminal prosecution and prison in Russia, we pray in full confidence: “May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace by your trusting in him, so that you may abound in hope with power of holy spirit.”—Romans 15:13.