ARKHANGELSK JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES DID NOT SUCCEED IN CHALLENGING PROSECUTOR'S WARNING
SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 10 February 2016
On 10 February 2016, the Arkhangelsk provincial court ruled the warning of the prosecutor's office about the impermissibility of extremist activity, issued to the Arkhangelsk local organization of Jehovah's Witnesses on 11 June 2015, to be legal.
The warning was issued after FSB personnel conducted a series of searches in the premises of the Kingdom Hall and in Arkhangelsk believers' apartments. The agency reported that as a result, about 400 copies of prohibited literature were confiscated.
The congregation originally tried to challenge the warning in district court and then filed an appeal in provincial court, but it also turned down the appeal. We note that the head of the congregation, Alexander Parygin, who recently was fined for distributing prohibited literature, himself filed in the Ministry of Justice an application for the liquidation of his organization, in October 2015.
We recall that we regard the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and the ban of their texts under the guise of combating extremism to be religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 February 2016)
HEAD OF ARKHANGELSK JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FINED
SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 4 February 2016
Alexander Parygin was fined on basis of article 20.29 of Code of Administrative Violations of Law.
It was reported on 4 February 2016 that the October district court of Arkhangelsk on 22 January 2016 found the head of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, "Central. Arkhangelsk," Alexander Parygin, guilty of possession of extremist literature for the purpose of mass distribution (article 20.29 of Code of Administrative Violations of Law). It was reported that he was sentenced to a fine of 1,500 rubles.
This was not the first case of prosecutions of Jehovah's Witnesses in Arkhangelsk. Thus in April of 2015, religious literature was confiscated in the premises of the congregation, and in October 2015 the same October court of Arkhangelsk fined a member of the congregation on the basis of article 20.29. After this, Parygin reported that he had sent to the Ministry of Justice an application for self-liquidation of the city's organization. In December, Igor Orlov, the acting governor of Arkhangelsk province, stated that he intends to "delegalize" the Jehovah's Witnesses in the region. [see Russian governor threatens Jehovah's Witnesses December 7, 2015]
We consider that persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and the ban of their texts for extremism are illegal and we view this as religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 February 2016)
ARKHANGELSK JEHOVISTS DECIDE TO SELF-LIQUIDATE
29.ru, 29 October 2015
The leader of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, "Central. Arkhangelsk," Alexander Parygin, sent to the provincial division of the Ministry of Justice of the RF an application for the self-liquidation of the organization.
The regional anti-sectarian center "Civil Security" reported that the request was made on the eve of a session of the October court of Arkhangelsk on 30 October. At it instances of the distribution of extremist literature by Jehovists will be considered.
Civil Security noted that the prosecutor's office of the region has already issued to the leaders of the Arkhangelsk and Kotlas Jehovists a warning about the impermissibility of extremist activity. In the opinion of specialists of the center, self-liquidation with subsequent registration of a new legal entity with a different name is nothing other than an attempt to escape accountability.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization of a pseudo-Christian movement. Many Russian analysts and religious studies experts consider the Jehovah's Witnesses to be a totalitarian sect. They maintain that being among Jehovists substantially increases the risk of developing psychiatric illnesses and disorders, including severe ones. The number of adherents of the cult in Arkhangelsk province is more than 2,500, of which approximately 1,000 are in the provincial center. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 February 2016)
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