St. Petersburg Church of Scientology director freed from jail, put under house arrest
ST. PETERSBURG, August 4 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The Nevsky District Court of St. Petersburg has released Galina Shurinova, the executive director of the local Church of Scientology, who stands charged with participation in an extremist organization, from detention and put her under house arrest, the Unified press service of St. Petersburg courts told RAPSI on Friday.
The court dismissed an investigator’s motion to extend Shurinova’s detention. The woman was sent under house until October 3.
Other defendants in the case, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg head Ivan Matsitsky, chief accountant of the religious group Sakhib Aliyev, and chief of the official matters department Anastasia Terentyeva, will remain in detention until October 20. House arrest of Terentyeva’s assistance Constance Yesaulkova was extended for the same period.
According to investigators, from 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles (about $5 million) for rendering its services. However, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg has not been incorporated under the law, a representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB) said in court earlier.
The defendants were charged with illegal business, inciting hatred and enmity, and violation of human dignity.
Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.
The scientific community never recognized it as science.
A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.
The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.