COURT RECEIVES LAWSUIT FOR LIQUIDATION OF ORGANIZATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKII
SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 5 May 2017
The territorial prosecutor's office demands a ban of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.
On 5 May 2017 the Kamchatka territorial court reported the receipt of a lawsuit by the territorial prosecutor for finding the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii to be extremist. The judicial proceedings are scheduled for 23 May.
In February, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii city court fined the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses 200 thousand rubles on the basis of article 20.29 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law (possession of extremist materials for purposes of mass distribution). The believers filed an appeal in the territorial court. The basis for the penalty was the fact that on 13 November 2016 law enforcement agencies, in the course of a search of the worship facilities of Jehovah's Witnesses, discovered three compact disks with a forbidden book, "What does the Bible really teach?" and a visitor to the meeting had previously given police the same disk. Believers declared that the disks had been planted, but the court did not find objective confirmation for this argument. On 22 March the territorial court confirmed the fine.
We note that on 20 April 2017, the Russian Supreme Court had already made the decision for the ban of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist, for its immediate liquidation, and for ceasing the activity of all local religious organizations that are members of its structure. Obviously this decision should apply also to the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.
From our point of view, liquidation of organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses for extremism (individual organizations had been banned in Russia even earlier; thus, in 2016 alone five local congregations in various cities were banned) and prosecution of members of their congregations and bans of their texts do not have legal grounds and are a clear manifestation of religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 May 2017)
KAMCHATKA TERRITORIAL COURT TO CONSIDER ADMINISTRATIVE CASE FOR FINDING LOCAL RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES EXTREMIST
Press Service of Kamchatka Territorial Court, 5 May 2017
The Kamchatka territorial court received an administrative plaintiff's declaration from the prosecutor of Kamchatka territory for finding the local Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses to be extremist, liquidating it, and banning its activity.
The lawsuit indicates that the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses was registered on 30 October 1998 by the Directorate of the Federal Tax Service for Kamchatka territory. During the conduct of oversight activity in 2016, agencies of the prosecutor's office of Kamchatka territory discovered indicators of extremism in the activity of the organization.
The administrative plaintiff's declaration was accepted for proceedings in the Kamchatka territorial court. The judicial proceedings are scheduled for 23 May 2017 at 10:00.
We recall that on 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian federation granted the request of the Russian Ministry of Justice. By the court's decision, the organization was liquidated and its property was converted to state income. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 May 2017)
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