Liya Maltseva

Unjust Verdicts

The Court of Cassation in Vladivostok Upheld the Sentence Against Liya Maltseva. She Was Given a 2-Year and 3-Month Suspended Sentence for Her Faith in Jehovah God

Primorye Territory

On June 27, 2023, the Ninth Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction, having considered the appeal against the verdict of Liya Maltseva, a 53-year-old disabled woman from Partizansk, decided to uphold the sentence.

In September 2022, the Partizansk City Court of Primorye Territory gave the believer a 2-year and 3-month suspended sentence with restriction of liberty for 7 months and a probation period of 2 years and 3 months. A month and a half later, the Primorye Regional Court upheld the verdict.

In her appeal, Liya Maltseva stated: “The verdict constitutes an act of direct and indirect religious discrimination as a result of the campaign of religious persecution against Jehovah's Witnesses as a group in Russia. By its verdict, the court demonstrated an attitude that is different from its attitude toward representatives of ‘traditional’ religions, without having an objective and reasonable basis for this. So, I was found guilty only because I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses.”

Speaking before the judicial panel of the court of cassation, Maltseva said: “In every religion there is singing, praying and reading the Holy Scriptures. I exercised my constitutional right to freedom of religion.”

Earlier, the Plenum of the RF Supreme Court determined that meetings for worship of Jehovah's Witnesses, their joint performance of rites and ceremonies, in themselves, are not extremism.

The case of Maltseva in Partizansk

Case History
Liya Maltseva from Partizansk has a disability. In June 2020, she faced prosecution for her faith in Jehovah God — a criminal case was initiated against her for extremism. The case was based on covert video footage of a meeting for worship, which Maltseva had attended. A month later, Rosfinmonitoring added Liya to the list of terrorists and extremists, and after another month her house was searched. The believer was taken for interrogation, and then placed under a recognizance agreement. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation accused her of participating in the activity of a religious association banned by the court. In May 2021, the case went to the city court. Witnesses interrogated for the prosecution stated that they did not hear hate speech from Liya against representatives of other religions. As a result, in September 2022, Liya Maltseva was given a 2-year and 3-month suspended sentence and 7 months restriction of liberty. The court of appeal and court of cassation upheld the verdict.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Primorye Territory
Court case number:
June 1, 2020
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigative Department for the city of Partizansk of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Primorsky Territory
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
1-6/2022 (1-131/2021)
Партизанский городской суд Приморского края
Александр Ягубкин
[i18n] Суд апелляционной инстанции:
Приморский краевой суд
Case History