Halya Coynash: Mass persecution inevitable if Russia bans the Jehovah’s Witnesses as ’extremist’

posted 6 Apr 2017, 09:05 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Apr 2017, 09:06 ]
6 April 2017

By Halya Coynash

Russia’s Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses after a Justice Ministry application which claimed that this world faith is ‘extremist’. The same Court on April 5 rejected a counter-suit lodged by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre asking that the actions of the ministry be declared political repression and that representatives of local communities be called to testify to such persecution. It claimed essentially that this was not within its jurisdiction. This new move follows constant repression at regional level. The Jehovah’s Witnesses had also fruitlessly asked the Court to adjourn the proceedings until general jurisdiction courts had issued their rulings in cases where bans are being sought on 9 regional branches and where 90 texts are accused of being ‘extremist’.  All applications were rejected, including the most obvious, namely that religious specialists and linguistic experts be called in to give their professional assessment of the so-called ‘extremism’. [Read more on Human Rights in Ukraine]

Source:
Halya Coynash, Mass persecution inevitable if Russia bans the Jehovah’s Witnesses as ’extremist,’ Human Rights in Ukraine, 6 April 2017
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