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    » 12/11/2009, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    The Supreme Court confirms: Jehovah's Witnesses outlawed in Rostov



    Upheld a ruling passed in September by the provincial court of the city on the Black Sea. Communities in the cities of Taganrog, Neklinov Matveeva and Kurgan-can no longer carry out activities and must withdraw. 34 publications banned for "extremist content" and property confiscated. Jehovah's Witnesses are turning to the European Court.

    Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The community of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Taganrog, Neklinov and Matveeva -Kurgan are outlawed, they can not carry out any activities and must be withdrawn. So says a ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirming the sentence issued by the Provincial Court of Rostov (see AsiaNews, 17/09/2009, "Court in Rostov bans Jehovah’s Witnesses for being religious extremists ").  

    In September, the religious organization was accused of spreading "extremist material" promoting a lifestyle that is sectarian and hostile to the peaceful coexistence in the Federation. The Public Ministry of the Federal Court confirmed the indictment by banning 34 of the 68 publications distributed by the Jehovah's Witnesses in the region. According to the charges they "contain outrageous expressions" and "virtually all the literature [distributed by the organisation] is crossed by a common thread that says that traditional Christianity is a false religion."    

    The organization is also accused of the "violation of the rights of non-believers" through "attempts to enter their homes to pray and perform intrusive activities of evangelization." They have also been banned from distributing magazines and pamphlets and have had property confiscated, such as offices and facilities of the organization, which will pass under the ownership of the Federation.  

    Vasily Kalin, director of the Audit Committee of the organization’s administrative Centre in Russia, fears now that "the decision will open a new era of persecution for the Jehovah's Witnesses" and that trials similar to those of Rostov will take place in other county courts ( See AsiaNews, 5/10/2009, "Altai court also condemns Jehovah’s Witnesses for “extremism "). The representative of Organisation in the Federation said: "The right to peaceful assembly, to possession of Christian literature and sharing the hope of the Gospel with others, has suffered a severe restriction.”

     For Arly Chimirov, one of the lawyers who followed the Jehovah's Witnesses case, "the Supreme Court's decision confirms the illegal application of the legislation on extremism”. The lawyer has announced an "appeal to the European Court" according to defensive lines followed since the beginning in the court in Rostov. The organization says it argued that the publications are the same distributed in hundreds of countries around the world, including European Union countries, where there are communities of Jehovah's Witnesses.

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    See also

    05/11/2011 RUSSIA
    Head of Altai Jehovah's Witnesses convicted of 'extremism'
    New court sentence against the persecuted community in Russia. NGOs for human rights denounce religious extremism law, which resulted in authorities blacklisting at least 265 organizations.

    21/11/2013 RUSSIA
    Russia, attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses and Pentecostals increase under anti-extremism law
    Experts from the Sova center denounce the escalation of attacks against religious minorities. On November 25 Tagarong trial opens against 16 Jehovah's Witnesses accused of extremism for continuing to pray and read the Bible together, after the ban on the community decided by the Russian Supreme Court in 2009.

    11/01/2010 RUSSIA
    The Russian government confirms condemnation of Jehovah's Witnesses
    The Ministry of Justice confirmed Supreme Court decisions. Trials pending in several Russian cities to outlaw faithful branded as "religious extremists". New Year, Molotov cocktails against a Kingdom Hall near Volgograd.

    08/07/2011 RUSSIA
    Orthodox nationalists attempt to prevent Jehovah's Witnesses congress
    The event should take place this weekend, but the organization 'Council of the People' asks the attorney general to verify its legality: "The JWs are a dangerous cult and violate the law."

    09/04/2013 RUSSIA
    Taganrog, new charges against Jehovah's Witnesses
    The prosecutor formally indicts 16 JW for having re-started the organization's activities, prohibited since 2009 after a conviction for "extremism." Human Rights Defenders: now we have come to a stage of outright persecution.



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