WARNING ISSUED TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES CONGREGATION IN SARANSK
SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 27 September 2016
The Supreme Court of the republic of Mordovia confirmed the decision imposing a fine on the basis of article 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Violation of Law on the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Saransk, after which the organization received a warning from the prosecutor's office.
On 27 September the prosecutor's office of the republic of Mordovia reported that it issued to the leader of the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses "Saransk" a warning about the impermissibility of extremist activity. The grounds for the warning were that in the opinion of the prosecutor's office, the organization stored for purposes of mass distribution forbidden brochures "How to develop close relations with God," "For what may people hope?" and "Good news from God," which were ruled to be extremist in 2013-2014 by courts in Vladimir and Kurgan. On 24 June 2016 the Lenin district court of Saransk fined the congregation 100,000 rubles on the basis of article 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Violation of Law (storing extremist materials for purposes of mass distribution) and on 12 August 2016 the Supreme Court of the republic of Mordovia confirmed this decision.
In the event that the congregation is accused in 2016 of new violations, it may be liquidated.
We recall that we consider bans of the literature of Jehovah's Witnesses as extremist and prosecution of believers for its distribution to be illegal. Such actions by the authorities we consider to be religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 October 2016)
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