Russian Supreme Court upholds liquidation of Jehovah’s Witnesses chapter
MOSCOW, May 26 (RAPSI) – The Supreme Court of Russia has upheld a ruling declaring a branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization in Cherkessk extremist and liquidating it, RAPSI learnt in the courtroom on Friday.
The court has dismissed an appeal against the February 10 ruling of the Supreme Court of the Karachay-Cherkessia Republic. In addition to the organization’s declared extremist status and it liquidation, its real estate property was ruled to be transferred to the state. On Friday, this ruling came into force.
On April 20, Russia’s Supreme Court banned the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses as extremist organization. According to the ruling, the Centre and its local branches are to be liquidated.
The Justice Ministry said that violations of the law “On Combatting Extremism” had been revealed during inspection conducted in the organization. The Prosecutor General’s Office’s notice concerning inadmissibility of carrying out extremist activities by Jehovah's Witnesses has taken effect, the Ministry said.
Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.