U.S.A. EXTREMELY CONCERNED BY ACTIONS OF RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES AGAINST JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AND OTHER RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
Portal-Credo.ru, 5 April 2017
Russia is using laws about terrorism and extremism for restricting freedom of thought, conscience, religious confession, and convictions. This was declared on 5 April by the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, Kate Burns, at a session of the Permanent Council of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] in Vienna, Rosbalt reports.
She said the U.S.A. "is extremely concerned by the actions of Russian authorities with regard to representatives of religious minorities, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Crimean Tatars, and others, under the guise of combating 'extremism.'"
"Persecution of members of peaceful groups of religious minorities on charges of 'extremism' only diverts and undermines our common efforts in the struggle with real threats of the use of violence," Burns emphasized and added that the U.S.A. urges Russian authorities to fulfill international obligations of Russia and its obligations within the framework of the OSCE and to withdraw its demand for the liquidation of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses and to cease its repressions with respect to Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as a whole.
On 15 March the Russian justice ministry "suspended the activity" of Jehovah's Witnesses and filed in the Supreme Court a lawsuit for the liquidation of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses and all 395 local religious organizations of this confession because of their alleged "extremist activity." (tr. by PDS, posted 5 April 2017)
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