Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Russia’s Supreme Court Deems Jehovah Witnesses Extremist, Bans Organisation


On Thursday, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled the activities of the main centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to be extremist, banning its work, and seizing their property. Judge Yuri Ivanenko ruled:

The Supreme Court ruled to sustain the claim of the Ministry of Justice (Minyust) and deem the “Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia” organisation extremist, eliminate it, and ban its activity in Russia.

Earlier, the Minyust applied for an order to shut down the JW’s national headquarters near St Petersburg. Judge Ivanenko said:

The state will confiscate the property of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” organisation.

Following the ruling, JW representatives said that the group would appeal the court’s decision, stressing that they’re prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The judicial ruling hasn’t yet taken legal effect. Should the JWs lodge an appeal, the ruling would come into legal force at the announcement of the appellate resolution. Otherwise, the ruling would become final within 30 days.

In March, the authorities suspended the activities of the Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia… the largest Jehovah’s Witnesses group in the country, with some 175,000 adherents. According to the Minyust, the suspension came because the group conducted “extremist activity”.

20 April 2017

Sputnik International


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