Skip to content

From left to right: Brothers Arsen Avanesov, Vilen Avanesov, and Aleksandr Parkov

MAY 12, 2021

UPDATE | Three Brothers Endure Extended Pretrial Detention

UPDATE | Three Brothers Endure Extended Pretrial Detention

On June 23, 2022, the Fourth General Jurisdiction Court of Cassation denied the second appeal of Brothers Vilen Avanesov and Aleksandr Parkov. At the request of the prosecutor, the court returned the case against Brother Arsen Avanesov to the stage of first appeal. This could result in Arsen receiving an even heavier sentence. All three brothers remain in prison.

On December 6, 2021, the Rostov Regional Court denied the appeal of Arsen, Vilen, and Aleksandr. They remain in prison.

On July 29, 2021, the Leninskiy District Court of Rostov-on-Don sentenced Arsen and Aleksandr to six and a half years in prison and Vilen to six years. All three brothers have already served over two years in pretrial detention and will remain in prison at this time.


Arsen Avanesov

  • Born: 1983 (Baku, Azerbaijan)

  • Biography: Studied engineering and worked in construction. As a child, enjoyed playing rugby. Has studied English and French

    With guidance from his parents, cultivated an appreciation for the Bible. Baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2005

Vilen Avanesov

  • Born: 1952 (Baku, Azerbaijan)

  • Biography: Worked as an electrician and a builder. Enjoys cooking, baking bread, and reading. The Bible was one of his favorite books to read in his youth

    Married his wife, Stella, in 1980. They have a son, Arsen, and a daughter, Elina. The family fled as refugees to Armenia in 1988. That same year, an earthquake in Yerevan, Armenia, and worsening economic conditions forced the family to relocate. They moved to Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Baptized in 2006

Aleksandr Parkov

  • Born: 1967 (Spassk, Kemerovo Region)

  • Biography: From a young age, learned to do hard work by caring for a farm and herding livestock. Worked as a tractor operator and as an artistic coppersmith

    Married his wife, Galina, in 1990. They began studying the Bible together. He was baptized in 1992. They have three daughters and two grandchildren

Case History

On May 22, 2019, a series of raids were carried out on residences of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Rostov-on-Don. Brother Vilen Avanesov and his son, Arsen, as well as Brother Aleksandr Parkov were taken into custody and have remained in pretrial detention for almost two years. In March 2021, all three brothers were transferred to another detention facility.

Vilen’s wife, Stella, has had restricted access to her husband and son. She has also been left without a source of income. Aleksandr’s wife, Galina, was also prosecuted for her faith. The court convicted her and imposed a suspended prison sentence of two years and three months.

The worldwide brotherhood is deeply saddened by these unjust arrests. We will all continue to “keep in mind those in prison, as though [we] were imprisoned with them.”—Hebrews 13:3.