RUSSIAN SUPREME COURT REJECTS LIQUIDATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES OF CITY OF TIUMEN
by Artem Ponomarev
RAPSI, 15 April 2016
The Supreme Court of the Russian federation refused to recognize the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Tiumen as extremist and as subject to liquidation, a RAPSI correspondent reports on Friday from the courtroom.
Thus the Russian Supreme Court ruled to overturn last year's decision of the Tiumen provincial court.
During the judicial proceedings, representatives of the defense frequently declared that the motion of the prosecutor's office should not be granted and drew conclusions about the partiality in the liquidation of said organization by the administrative plaintiffs in the person of law enforcement agencies.
In the opinion of representatives of the Jehovah's Witnesses, this organization, in its more than century-long history, had managed to establish a worthy reputation and it is ready to take responsibility for its words.
In addition, the defense called the attention of the court to the fact that liquidation of a legal entity is in essence the supreme measure of punishment—"death by article."
A representative of the Jehovah's Witnesses pointed the court to the evident "fabrication" of the present case and to the fact that the plaintiff is forcing everybody "to believe the most incredible things."
The arguments of the prosecutor's office came down to this that all facts and circumstances challenged by the defense had been established and verified, having been given legal force by the decisions of the court of the first instance and there are no grounds for doubting their objectivity.
Thus the prosecutor asked for a rejection of the appeal of the defendant and to leave the decision of the Tiumen provincial court in force.
In 2015, the Tiumen provincial court granted the motion of the prosecutor's office for finding the Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Tiumen to be an extremist organization and for its liquidation.
The aforesaid religious organization had previously also been held administratively responsible for the distribution of extremist materials. Thus in March 2015 the Lenin court of Tiumen subjected the Jehovah's Witnesses to an administrative fine of the sum of 50,000 rubles and confiscation of the forbidden literature. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 April 2016)
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