Updated: May 24, 2024
Name: Panyuta Olga Aleksandrovna
Date of Birth: June 11, 1959
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1.1)
Time spent in prison: 2 day in a temporary detention facility, 102 day in a pre-trial detention, 363 day Under house arrest, 367 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 4 years 4 months, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year, with serving a sentence of imprisonment in a correctional colony of general regime
Currently held in: Penal Colony No. 10 in Primorye Territory
Address for correspondence: Panyuta Olga Aleksandrovna, born 1959, IK No. 10 in Primorye Territory, ul. Lenina, 25, p. Gornoye, Mikhailovskiy r., Primorye Territory, Russia, 692669

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Biography

In November 2018, authorities conducted a series of searches at the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in Spassk-Dalny. Olga Panyuta was detained. After several years of investigation and trial, the court found the woman guilty of extremism and sentenced her to 4.5 years in prison just because of her faith.

Olga was born in 1959 in Nizhny Novgorod, later lived in several cities, after which she moved to Spassk-Dalniy. Olga graduated from a technical school, worked as a kindergarten teacher and social worker, now retired.

In 1982, Olga married Vladimir. He worked for the railroad for many years. The couple have two adult daughters and a son.

When Olga began to study the Bible in depth, she liked the teachings about God and his Son, Jesus Christ. She could not even imagine that one day, because of her faith, she would be behind bars.

Relatives and friends worry about the believer, understanding the absurdity of the sentence. “My husband saw how much stress I suffered because of the arrest, the rude words of the investigator, the humiliation during the imprisonment. And he realized that everything that we, Jehovah's Witnesses, are accused of is a lie,” Olga said, speaking with the last word before the court.

Case History

In the fall of 2018, searches were carried out in Spassk-Dalny at the homes of Dmitry Malevany, Alexei Trofimov, Olga Panyuta, Olga Opaleva and their fellow believers. The reason for the persecution of civilians was their faith in Jehovah God. The believers were accused of organizing the activities of an extremist organization and involving others in it. The case is based on the testimony of secret witnesses “Sidorova” and “Ivanova”, who monitored the believers on instructions from the FSB. On the eve of the search, Olga Opaleva suffered a heart attack, and later, on the way to court, a stroke. The four believers spent a year under house arrest, and since November 2019 they have been under a recognizance agreement. In December 2019, the case went to court. In February 2023, the believers were sentenced: Dmitry Malevanoy was given 7 years in a penal colony, Alexey Trofimov  6.5 years in prison, Olga Panyuta - 4.5 years in prison, and Olga Opaleva - 5 years suspended. The appeal reduced each of these terms by two months, the cassation supported this decision.