Updated: June 12, 2024
Name: Labadze Gurami Noyevich
Date of Birth: December 19, 1962
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 100 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 6 years 6 months, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of public and religious organizations (associations) for a term of 4 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year 6 months, a sentence of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 4 years 6 months

Biography

In April 2021, law enforcement officers of the Tula region raided Jehovah's Witnesses. Several believers, including 2 women, were thrown into jail. Gurami Labadze, one of the defendants in the criminal case, was placed under house arrest. On the day of the search and interrogation, Gurami's blood pressure and blood sugar rose, and the operatives even had to call an ambulance.

Gurami was born in December 1962 in the Georgian village of Nigvzara. The large family had 2 sons and 2 daughters, but brother Gurami died in infancy. As a child, Gurami was very fond of reading, so some librarians, knowing this, left interesting books for him. He regrets that among those books he never came across the Bible, because even then he was interested in the origin of life.

Gurami studied first at a vocational school in Tbilisi, then at the Tbilisi Technical School of Railway Transport, and then graduated from the Tula Polytechnic Institute. After graduation he was sent to serve in the army in the construction battalion.

Upon his return, Gurami worked as a foreman at a plant in Tula, a car repair mechanic, and a senior mechanic. Later he went into business, then became a carpenter, and from 2015 until his arrest he worked as a taxi driver.

In the mid-90s, Gurami took up seriously reading and studying the Bible. Thanks to this ancient book, he found answers to questions that have worried him for many years. Reflecting on God's standards and applying them in life helped Gurami to quit smoking and using drugs. He was also impressed by the behavior of believers and their attitude towards each other. All this prompted him to devote his life to serving God.

In 1995, he married Galina, whom he met at work. A son was born in the marriage. Together with family and friends, Gurami loves to spend time in nature: picking mushrooms in the forest and having picnics.

Criminal prosecution has robbed Gurami of his job. He is prohibited from associating with anyone, including his own family. He shares: “It is very difficult without communication with your wife, son, relatives and friends. As if a part of my body had been torn off. "

Case History

In April 2021, security forces searched 17 addresses of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tula and Kireevsk. In March of the same year, the FSB opened a criminal case against Gurami Labadze, Yevgeny Godunov, Angela Putivskaya and Yulia Popkova against each on charges of extremism. The investigation considered it a crime to “organize religious speeches” and “carry out preaching activities.” After searches and interrogations, Gurami was placed under house arrest, and Angela, Yulia and Yevgeniy were placed in a pre-trial detention center. A month later, they were also placed under house arrest. Later, all were replaced by a measure of restraint on their own recognizance. The case went to court in April 2023, and in November the court handed down a sentence: Godunov and Labadze - 6 years and 6 months of suspended imprisonment, Putivskaya and Popkova - 2 years and 6 months of probation.