MIKHAIL SIMONOV, Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow, Russia)

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Mikhail Simonov

Mikhail Yurievich Simonov, a pensioner from Moscow, born in 1960. Until recently he lived in Belarus and managed a restaurant car on long-distance trains.

On 19 and 20 March 2022, he made the following comments on the VK social network: “While killing children and women, we are singing songs on Channel One. We, Russia, have become godless. Forgive us, Lord!” and “Russian pilots are bombing children.” He was reported by two witnesses, who contacted the Ministry of Internal Affairs hotline.

Despite not hearing well, struggling with speech and suffering from various diseases, Simonov was taken into custody on 10 November 2022 on charges under part 2D of Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Dissemination of deliberately false information about the armed forces of the Russian Federation motivated by hatred).

On 21 March 2023, during a hearing in the Timiryazevsky District Court of Moscow, Simonov stated that he was motivated to post the comments by “his Christian attitude to all living things.”

On 30 March 2023, the court found Simonov guilty under the aforementioned article of the Criminal Code and sentenced him to seven years in a penal colony. Russian human rights organization Memorial recognized Simonov as a political prisoner.

Address for correspondence:

601120, Vladimir oblast, Petushinsky rayon, ul. Franza Schtolwerka, d. 6, FKU IK-2 UFSIN Russian for Vladimir oblast,
Simonov Mikhail Yurievich, born 1960.