Updated: December 8, 2023
Name: Sycheva Anastasiya Nikolayevna
Date of Birth: May 5, 1977
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Sentence: punishment in the form of 2 years of imprisonment with restriction of liberty for 6 months, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 2 years


Anastasia Sycheva, a peaceful believer from the town of Obluchye, fought for her right to freedom of religion for a year. However, on March 11, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the sentence handed down to her by a lower court in January only because of her faith in Jehovah God: 2 years of suspended imprisonment with a 2-year probationary period and 6 months of restriction of liberty.

Anastasia was born in 1977 in the village of Teploozersk (Jewish Autonomous Region). She was the fourth of five children in the family. My father worked all his life at a cement plant, had many awards as an honorary cement worker. Nastya grew up shy and silent. She loved books - the whole family was reading, parents instilled in children a love of literature. From an early age, the girl spent a lot of time knitting, was fond of singing.

After school, Anastasia graduated from medical college and received the specialty of a nurse. For a long time she worked in a dental office, then got a job as a district nurse in a psychiatric hospital.

When her older sister died of cancer at the age of 33, Anastasia took custody of her two young children, who at that time were 9 years old and 3 years old. "There were a lot of challenges in raising children alone," she says. "But I tried to apply Bible principles. Mom undermined her health by caring for her sick sister and died. In the same year, a month earlier, the middle brother passed away.

Even in her teenage years, Anastasia thought about life and death. "I was haunted by the thought that a person's life could end so suddenly," she recalls. "The question arose: then what is the meaning of man's existence on earth?" In the last year of school, she became interested in the Bible. In it, Anastasia found answers to her questions and found hope for the resurrection of the dead to life on earth, which gave her the strength to survive numerous losses without losing her presence of mind.

In September 2019, a criminal case was opened against Anastasia under an "extremist" article. This was an unexpected shock for her. During the same period, the believer underwent eye surgery, and she still has to take care of her elderly father, who suffered a hip injury.

Everything that happened could not deprive the believer of her love of life. Anastasia enthusiastically learns English on her own, loves to meet old friends, make new acquaintances, spend time in nature, dance and listen to music, travel.

Numerous friends support Anastasia in difficulties. The believer noted: "True love is manifested in deeds. And my friends show that kind of love."

Case history

A trial took place in the city of Obluchye - a modest and law-abiding nurse Anastasia Sycheva, who single-handedly raised two nephews, was found guilty of extremism for her “wrong” faith and sentenced to 2 years probation. According to the investigation, she “committed deliberate actions related to the resumption and continuation of the activities of the local religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Birobidzhan.” A criminal case under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was initiated by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation for the Jewish Autonomous Region in September 2019. This was preceded by wiretapping of telephone conversations between believers. The hearings, chaired by Olga Afanasyeva, judge of the Obluchensky District Court, lasted more than 10 months. On March 11, 2021, the regional court upheld the verdict. After 8 months, a similar decision was made by the court of cassation. In March 2022, Anastasia’s criminal record was cleared.