Updated: June 12, 2024
Name: Avanesov Arsen Vilenovich
Date of Birth: September 24, 1983
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Time spent in prison: 4 day in a temporary detention facility, 925 day in a pre-trial detention, 920 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 7 years in a correctional colony of general regime, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to participation in public organizations for a period of 5 years and with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year
Currently held in: Penal Colony No. 3 in Ulyanovsk Region
Address for correspondence: Avanesov Arsen Vilenovich, born 1983, IK No. 3 in Ulyanovsk Region, ul. Osypenko, 22, g. Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk Region, Russia, 433502

Letters of support can be sent by regular mail or through the «FSIN-letter system». To pay for service with the card of a foreign bank use Prisonmail.

Parcels and parcels should not be sent because of the limit on their number per year.

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


In July 2021, the court sentenced Arsen Avanesov to 6.5 years in prison for believing in Jehovah God, and his elderly father Vilen — to 6 years in prison. The believers were found guilty of extremism because they read and discussed the Bible with friends.

Arsen was born in 1983 in Baku (Azerbaijan). He has an elder sister Elina. As a child, Arsen played rugby. After school, he graduated from the Don State Technical University with a degree in engineering in biomedical practice, but worked mainly in the construction professions. In the late 1980s, his family moved first to Armenia and then to Russia, where they settled in Rostov-on-Don.

Arsen is fond of foreign languages, studying English and French. Thanks to my parents, I got acquainted with the Bible, from which he draws guidance for everyday life.

Those close to Arsen and Vilen believe that they were condemned unfairly, since the believers did not actually commit any crime. Arsen was the main breadwinner of the family, his parents are pensioners. Arsen's mother has been deprived of the necessary support since the arrest of both men in May 2019.

Case History

Searches, arrests, humiliation and intimidation. In May 2019, Aleksandr Parkov, Vilen and Arsen Avanesov from Rostov were detained by officers of the Investigative Committee for allegedly continuing the activities of the banned organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were placed in a pre-trial detention center, where they spent 925 days. The accusation of believers was based on falsifications and testimonies of a provocateur recruited by the FSB. In July 2021, the court sentenced Vilen to 6 years in prison, and Aleksandr and Arsen to 6.5 years. The Court of Appeal and Cassation upheld this decision. Arsen was charged with another article - sponsoring the activities of an extremist organization, and his sentence was increased to 7 years. In February 2024, Vilen Avanesov was released, having served his term in full.