Moscow, April 21: Jehovah’s Witnesses has been banned in the whole territory of Russia. Russia’s Supreme Court has declared this as an extremist organization group. Country’s Justice Ministry requested SC to label the group as “extremist” and ban their all activities in the territory.
Judge Yuri Ivanchenko will hand over the full judgment to the parties within next five days. All properties of this group and 395 local chapters will be under the rule immediately. Though the rule is new but previously as NPR reported the group's literature and the website have been subject to bans in Russia and members have been arrested or had their property seized. But according to the new rule, its St. Petersburg’s headquarters will be taken as state property.
Jehovah’s Witnesses is planning for further appeal in the appellate court. If Russian Supreme Court upholds the same verdict, the organization would take this case to European Court of Human Rights. The rule is not yet in effect. If the group appeals, the rule will come to effect after appellate court’s verdict in or after days of this pronouncement.
Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a religious group founded by preacher Charles Russel in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, the USA in the 1870s.Though they use Christian Terminologies but they consider themselves as a newly founded religious group. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not smoke or use alcohol or drugs. They are against divorce, defy government institutions and civic duties, refuse to serve in the army and do not permit blood transfusions.
Justice Ministry mentioned many violations and extremist activities in the Supreme Court. Hence they demanded to ban them and seize their all properties. Reuters reported adds Justice Ministry attorney Svetlana Borisova said the Jehovah's Witnesses "pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order, and public security."
The Group was already warned for its extremism by a Court in Moscow. "Under Russian legislation, the religious organization in question is to be closed down if it fails to eliminate the exposed violations within the required deadline or if new evidence of its extremist activities come to light," Tass reports.