Updated: June 12, 2024
Name: Gezik Irina Nikolayevna
Date of Birth: August 14, 1972
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 4 years 2 months, a sentence of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 3 years

Biography

Irina Gezik, together with her husband, Anatoliy, became a defendant in a criminal case for extremism in December 2019. In November 2022, the court found her guilty and gave her suspended sentence of 4 years and 2 months just because of her faith.

Irina was born in 1972 in Georgievsk. She has an older sister. As a child, Irina was fond of basketball and loved to knit. After school, she graduated from a vocational college as a seamstress.

In 1997 Irina married Anatoliy. They worked at the same reinforcement plant. Irina also helped caring for her husband's mother.

In 1998, Anatoliy became interested in the Bible, and seeing a change for the better in her husband's lifestyle and habits, in 2008 Irina decided to join him. As she studied the Bible, she saw that God is tender and loving, and that he teaches people to show the same qualities.

The criminal prosecution caused serious stress to Irina and Anatoliy. Neighbors, friends and Irina's sister help the couple and support them during these trials.

Case History

At the end of 2019, homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched in Georgievsk. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation accused Viktor Zimovskiy as well as Anatoly and Irina Gezika, a married couple, of organizing and participating in the activity of an extremist organization. The investigator considered reading the Bible and praying together to be a crime. Viktor Zimovskiy is a father of three minor children and was classed as disabled after his heart surgery. Despite this, the court placed him in a detention center for two months. The criminal case was considered in court from February to October 2022. Viktor Zimovskiy was sentenced to six years and two months in a penal colony, Anatoly Gezik was sentenced to four years and two months of forced labor, and Irina Gezik was given a suspended sentence of four years and two months. The appellate court replaced the terms of imprisonment and of forced labor with suspended sentences of the same duration.