MOSCOW COURT REJECTS JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES' REQUEST TO ANNUL RUSSIAN PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S WARNING
Portal-credo.ru, 12 October 2016
The Tver district court of the city of Moscow on 12 October rejected the request of the Jehovah's Witnesses to find the warning "about the impermissibility of conducting extremist activity," issued by a deputy of the Russian prosecutor general against their Administrative Center, to be illegal.
Jehovah's Witnesses consider this decision of the court to be mistaken, the press service of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia reports. They decisively complain against hanging upon them the label of "extremists," emphasizing that extremism is profoundly alien to their views and morals based upon the Bible. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 October 2016)
WITH UNREVEALED MOTIVATION
ReligioPolis, 12 October 2016
According to a report from the press service of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, on Wednesday, 12 October 2016, in the Tver court of the city of Moscow, a hearing on the case of a lawsuit by believers was scheduled. Representatives of the religious organization requested that a warning about the impermissibility of conducting extremist activity, issued by a deputy of the prosecutor general of Russia to the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, be found to be illegal. The believers, despite bitter experience, this time even hoped to thoroughly prove to the court that all kinds of accusations of extremism put forward against them are far-fetched.
However, the judicial session under the presiding Judge Maria Moskalenko, that began at 10:00 a.m., concluded at 1:10 p.m. with the refusal of the Jehovah's Witnesses' request. Thus the Tver court of the city of Moscow found the warning about the impermissibility of conducting extremist activity, issued by a deputy of the prosecutor general of Russia to the religious organization, to be legal. The grounds on which the court made this decision were not announced in the course of the judicial session and they remain unclear until the believers receive a written statement of the Tver court's decision.
It is interesting that on the eve of the judicial session, law enforcement agencies in St. Petersburg made an attempt to get at least some grounds for establishing the suspicion of the existence of the believers' "extremism."
According to the publication L!fe, "at about 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 October, representatives of the Investigative Committee arrived at the headquarters apartment of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Kalinin district of St. Petersburg for a search. As has been reported, law enforcers descended upon the Kingdom Hall on Luga Street in the midst of a worship service. Personnel of the Investigative Committee interrogated people who were in the headquarters apartment, after which they took all the men and several women away with them."
The process and the form of the "inspection" of believers for "extremism," as often is the case in similar situations involving Jehovah's Witnesses, had an extremely peculiar character that gives evidence about the mental capacity of those conducting it.
Thus, "according to a statement of one of the women who were in the headquarters apartment during the searches, the law enforcers asked those who were in attendance in the worship hall why they had come there and how frequently they attend this organization. Then the Investigative Committee agents demanded the surrender of electronic tablets. Those who refused to do this were taken away," L!fe reports.
One of the details that stress the cynicism of what happened may be seen in the fact that "law enforcers descended onto the Kingdom Hall on Luga Street in the midst of a worship service. Investigative Committee personnel interrogated people who were in the headquarters apartment. According to L!fe's information, the searches were connected with a 'warning about the impermissibility of conducting extremist activity,' issued by a deputy of the Russian prosecutor general."
Actually, to burst into a house of worship—an Orthodox church, a mosque, a Catholic church—during a worship service, in order to question believers whether they are worshiping by their own volition or someone is forcing them to do it is out of the experience of "militant atheists" of the period of war communism. At the same time, probably none of the organizers and executors of this action against the Jehovah's Witnesses recognized that actually it is extremism in its essence.
We recall that according to the official definitions, it is "adherence to extreme views and methods of activity (usually in politics). Both individuals and organizations, primarily political ones, are liable to extremism. Among politically extremist actions one may note provocation of disorders, terrorist acts, and conducting partisan warfare. The most radically minded extremists frequently reject, on principle, any kind of compromises, negotiations, and agreements. The growth of extremism usually is facilitated by social and economic crises, a sharp drop in the living standards of the basic mass of the population, totalitarian political regimes that suppress opposition, persecution of dissidents, and foreign intervention. In such situations, extreme measures may become for some persons and organizations the only possibility of actually affecting the situation, especially if a revolutionary situation develops or the state is seized by a lengthy civil war. In these situations it is possible to speak of "forced extremism." (tr. by PDS, posted 17 October 2016)
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