SUPREME COURT OF THE REPUBLIC LEAVES IN FORCE DECISION HOLDING KOSTOMUKSHA JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION ADMINISTRATIVELY ACCOUNTABLE
Official web page of prosecutor's office of republic of Karelia, 8 December 2016
By a decision of the Supreme Court of the republic of Karelia of 7 December 2016, a ruling of the Kostomuksha city court of 7 October 2016 remained in effect, by which the local religious organization of Kostomuksha Jehovah's Witnesses was held administratively accountable for a violation of the law provided by article 20.29 of the Russian federation Code of Administrative Violations of Law in the form of a fine of 50,000 rubles with confiscation of extremist materials. The arguments of the attorney of the legal entity that was held administratively accountable, to the effect that there was a lack of the substance and occurrence of an administrative offense, were found to be unsubstantiated.
Article 20.29 of the Russian federation Code of Administrative Violations of law provides for accountability for the mass distribution of extremist materials that are included in the published Federal List of Extremist Materials as well as for their production or storage for the purpose of mass distribution.
The sanctions of the aforesaid article provide for penalty in the form of a fine of citizens of from one thousand to three thousand rubles or administrative detention for a period of up to fifteen days with confiscation of the aforesaid materials and equipment used for their production; for officials, from two thousand to five thousand rubles, with confiscation of said materials and equipment used for their production; for legal entities, from 100 thousand to one million rubles or administrative suspension of activity for a period of up to ninety days with confiscation of said materials and equipment used for their production.
In accordance with article 13 of the federal law of 25 July 2002 "On combating extremist activity," distribution of extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for purposes of distribution, is prohibited on the territory of the Russian federation. In the event of instances, provided for by legislation of the Russian federation, the production, storage, or distribution of extremist materials are violations of law and entail accountability.
On 28 July 2016, the prosecutor's office of the city of Kostomuksha opened a case of administrative violation of law against the aforesaid organization on the basis of article 20.29 of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations of Law. The basis for opening the case of an administrative offense was the discovery of the fact of possession by the local religious organization of Kostomuksha Jehovah's Witnesses of literature included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials, for the purpose of mass distribution, in violation of the requirements of article 13 of the federal law "On combating extremist activity." (tr. by PDS, posted 12 December 2016)
KARELIAN COURT FINES JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES 50,000 RUBLES
14 October 2016
14 October 2016
The Kostomuksha city court fined the local branch of Jehovah's Witnesses 50 thousand rubles for possession of literature entered in the Federal List of Extremist Materials. This was reported by TASS with a reference to the press service of the court.
Besides the fine, the court ruled that the materials, which had been found to be extremist, be confiscated. The decision may be appealed within ten days.
Earlier, a branch of the religious organization in Petrozavodsk was fined by a local city court. At the time the Jehovah's Witnesses also were charged with possession of extremist materials. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 December 2016)
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