Name: Anastasia Terentyeva
Country/Area of Origin: St. Petersburg, Russia
Background: External Affairs Director of the Scientology religious group in St. Petersburg, born in 1979. She has been volunteering with the St. Petersburg Scientology religious group since 1998. She is divorced with no children.
Reason for Arrest:
On June 6, 2017, FSB police and SWAT teams raided the Scientology religious group in St. Petersburg and arrested several people including Anastaisia. Her house was also raided. She was charged with “running a business without a license” after the Russian Government refused to register the St. Petersburg Church as a religious organization, despite being ordered to do so by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Anastasia has also been charged with publicly violating the honor and dignity of an individual. The individual she supposedly violated the dignity of denies the charge.
Her attorneys have filed appeals contesting the pretrial detention on the grounds that her detention constituted arbitrary deprivation of liberty in violation of Article 5 of the European Human Rights Convention, as well as violations of the right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association under Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Convention.
Anastasia was originally held in detention for several months. Her attorneys successfully argued for her to be on house arrest. House arrest however is very limited with no internet, phone calls, or visits allowed without prior permission from the government.
If convicted, she faces 6-10 years in prison for practicing her religious beliefs.
- On 12 February 2020, a small court in St. Petersburg has agreed to try the case involving Anastasia Terentyeva as well as four other Scientologists for “illegal entrepreneurship, extremism, money laundering, and incitement of hatred.”