Published on Apr 20, 2017 – Russia’s highest court banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation from operating on the territory of the country at the Supreme Court in Moscow, Thursday.
According to the judge Yuri Ivanenko, the court accepted the request from the Ministry of Justice that the religious organisation should be considered to be an extremist group.
Ivanenko announced that all chapters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are to be closed in the country’s regions as well as the confiscation of their property to the state.
Following the verdict, lawyers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses stated that they will appeal the decision and take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
On March 17, the Ministry of Justice appealed to the Supreme Court with a lawsuit to ban the organisation in Russia as it reportedly violates Russia’s anti-extremism laws.
SOT, Yuri Ivanenko, Judge (Russian): “The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled to sustain the claim of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and ban the ‘Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ and the local religious organisations that are part of their structure; to confiscate the property of the banned religious organisation and transfer it to the ownership of the Russian Federation. The decision of the court to satisfy the administrative claim for the ban of the religious organisation ‘Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ must be immediately executed with regard to the termination of the activities of the religious organisation ‘Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ and the local religious organisations within its structure. The decision can be appealed at the Board of Appeals of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation within a month from the date of its adoption in the final form. The decision in the final form will be made in accordance with the statutory deadline. A copy of the decision will be handed to the persons participating in the case not later than three days from the date of its manufacture.”