Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Moscow Court Turns Down JW Bid to Fight Minyust Ban

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Our correspondent reported from the courtroom that Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court rejected a lawsuit filed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group against a Justice Ministry (Minyust) ruling on banning its activity in Russia. The JWs asked the court to overturn the Minyust ruling as illegal and order its cancellation. Judge Nelli Rubtsova said:

The court decided to reject the lawsuit of the religious organisation “Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre in Russia”.

On 20 April, the Supreme Court declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be an extremist organisation and outlawed its activity throughout Russia, upholding a Minyust request. The court declared the immediate shutdown of all 395 JW local chapters in Russia and transferred the organisation’s assets into state custody. The Jehovah’s Witnesses said it would appeal the decision. In its lawsuit, the Minyust pointed to various breaches in the organisation’s activities revealed during a surprise inspection, including violations of the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activities.

On 12 October 2016, Moscow’s Tverskoy Raion Court issued a warning to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre based on exposure of extremism there. Under Russian law, a religious association or organisation can lose registration (effective termination) if it doesn’t remedy the specified manifestations of extremism before the required deadline or if it displays any new ones.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international religious organisation that disseminates offbeat views on Christian doctrine and offers idiosyncratic interpretations of many commonly accepted beliefs.

24 April 2017

TASS

http://tass.com/world/942943

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