Name: Galina Shurinova
Country/Area of Origin: St. Petersburg, Russia
Background: Director of the religious group in St. Petersburg, born in 1954. She has been volunteering with the St. Petersburg Scientology religious group since its founding and was one of the original Scientology missionaries in Russia. She is divorced with one adult son. She lives with and takes care of her mother, who was born in 1931 and survived World War II, is a veteran of the War and has a group II disability.
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 Galina. 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). She has also been charged with publicly violating the honor and dignity of an individual. The individual she supposedly violated the dignity of denies his dignity was violated.
She was originally in an FSB detention center (jail) and after several months was released on house arrest. In 2018 she was released from house arrest due to a severe medical condition. She is still under restrictions and is not allowed to travel outside the city of St. Petersburg without permission. She is allowed to go to doctor and hospital visits.
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 Galina Shurinova as well as four other Scientologists for “organization of an extremist society, incitement of hatred or enmity, violation of human dignity, and illegal business operations.”