Legal Case of the Week: Jehovah's Witnesses

posted 30 Jan 2017, 02:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 Jan 2017, 02:24 ]
On 24 January 2017 the chair of the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch in Dzerzhinsk was fined 4,000 roubles for ‘extremist’ literature. According to RAPSI, the Nizhny Novgorod Region Court announced on its website that day that the fine was imposed for 'for keeping and distributing extremist literature banned in Russia.' RAPSI reported that the materials in question consisted of two booklets, which were seized by the court.  RAPSI reports that among the many legal problems the Jehovah's Witnesses have face in Russia are the following:

'On October 12, a court in the Jewish Autonomous Region ruled to ban a branch of “The Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Birobidzhan because of distributing extremist literature by the organization. On June 16, Russia’s Supreme Court declared “The Jehovah’s Witnesses of Stary Oskol” in the Belgorod Region an extremist organization and ruled to liquidate it. On June 9, the Jehovah’s Witnesses of Belgorod was banned as extremist organization. In March 2015, a court in Tyumen fined the organization 50,000 rubles ($792) and seized prohibited literature. In January 2014, a court in Kurgan ruled to ban the organization’s booklets as extremist. The books talk about how to have a happy life, what you can hope for, how to develop good relations with God and what you should know about God and its meaning. In late December 2013, the leader of the sect’s group in Tobolsk, Siberia was charged with extremism and the prevention of a blood transfusion that nearly led to the death of a female member of the group. In 2004, a court in Moscow dissolved and banned a Jehovah’s Witnesses group on charges of recruiting children, encouraging believers to break from their families, inciting suicide and preventing believers from accepting medical assistance.'

Photo of international headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in Warwick, New York: Wikipedia

'Chair of Jehovah’s Witnesses branch fined for distributing extremist literature,' RAPSI, 25 January 2017