SUPREME COURT RULES LIQUIDATION OF CHERKESSK JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES LEGAL
RAPSI, 26 May 2017
The Supreme Court ruled a decision about recognizing the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Cherkessk as extremist and liquidating it to be legal, a RAPSI correspondent reported from the courtroom on Friday.
The Supreme Court denied an appeal by lawyers of the local religious organization against a decision of the Supreme Court of the Karachay-Cherkesia republic of 10 February, whereby an administrative lawsuit by an assistant prosecutor for finding the Jehovah's Witnesses of the city of Cherkessk to be extremist, liquidating it, and converting immovable property in the form of a land parcel and building to state property was granted.
Thus the decision of the court of the first instance took legal effect.
As the prosecutor's office of Karachay-Cherkesia reported earlier, the reason for filing the lawsuit for liquidation of local Jehovah's Witnesses was materials of an inspection conducted by the oversight agency for determining compliance with legislation on combating extremist activity.
The prosecutor's office of the region points to the fact that the local religious organization was held administratively accountable on article 20.29 of the Code on Administrative Violations of Law of the RF for distributing forbidden literature and subsequent continuation of its illegal extremist activity.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are an international religious organization with headquarters in Brooklyn (New York). The website of the Jehovists reports that the Witnesses have existed in Russia more than 100 years. Beginning in 2004, a number of congregations and local divisions of Jehovah's Witnesses in the regions have been ruled to be extremists and closed—in Belgorod, Samara, Rostov, and Orel provinces and in other legal entities of the RF.
On 20 April the Russian Supreme Court granted an administrative lawsuit of the Ministry of Justice for finding the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" to be an extremist organization, banning its activity, and liquidating all 395 local divisions that are members of its structure. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 May 2017)
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