RUSSIAN SUPREME COURT FINDS LIQUIDATION OF STARY OSKOL JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES LEGAL
RIA Novosti, 16 June 2016
The Supreme Court of the Russian federation on Thursday found the liquidation of the affiliate of the Jehovah's Witnesses from Stary Oskol (Belgorod province) because of its extremist tendency to be legal, an RIA Novosti correspondent reports from the courtroom.
"The Judicial Board decided to find the court's decision ruling the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Stary Oskol to be an extremist organization and liquidating it to be legal and justified and to leave it unchanged and the appeal requesting the quashing of this decision without satisfaction," the judge said.
Last week the Supreme Court made a similar decision regarding the affiliate of the organization from Belgorod.
Representatives of Jehovah's Witnesses regularly have problems with the law in Russia. In 2015 a court also liquidated the Jehovah's Witnesses in Obninsk (Kaluga province).
However, in April the Supreme Court of the RF refused to liquidate the Tiumen affiliate of the international religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, denying the corresponding lawsuit by the prosecutor's office, which had insisted on the extremist nature of the activity of the organization.
Along with this, in 2014 the Supreme Court of the RF found the website of the Witnesses and three books of the organization to be extremist. Also a Kurgan court ruled several other brochures of the Witnesses to be extremist. In late December 2013 it was reported that the leader of the Tobolsk group of this organization was held criminally responsible; he was accused of extremism and of prohibiting a blood transfusion, because of which one of the devotees nearly died.
In 2004 a court in Moscow disbanded the congregation of Witnesses and prohibited its activity. The congregation was found guilty, in particular, of recruiting children, encouraging believers to break from their families, and encouraging suicide and refusal of medical aid. In 2010 the European Court for Human Rights found this decision of the court illegal and ordered Russia to pay the victims 70 thousand Euros. (tr. by PDS, posted 17 June 2016)
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