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Justice Ministry adds Jehovah’s Witnesses to list of organizations outlawed in Russia

August 17, 2017, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In April Russia’s Supreme Court declared Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization

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Russian administrative centre of Jehovah's Witnesses

Russian administrative centre of Jehovah's Witnesses

© Alexandr Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Justice has added the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group to the list of organizations whose activities had been outlawed in the country, the ministry reported on its website.

"The Russian Ministry of Justice has included the Jehovah’s Witnesses Managerial Center in Russia and its 395 local religious organizations in the list of public associations, religious organizations and other non-profit organizations, with regard to which a decision that took legal force was made to dissolve it or ban its activity on the basis of the Federal Law On Counteracting Extremist Activity," the ministry said.

It noted that the organization had been added to the list on the basis of the ruling by the Russian Supreme Court of April 20, 2017.

On April 20, Russia’s Supreme Court declared Jehovah’s Witnesses to be an extremist organization and outlawed its activity throughout Russia, thereby upholding the Justice Ministry’s requests. The court declared the immediate shutdown of all 395 local chapters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and transferred the organization’s assets into state custody.

The organization’s representatives appealed the decision in the appellate panel of the Supreme Court, and its spokesman said that, if the appellate panel of Supreme Court judges upheld the verdict, the case would be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. Russia’s Supreme Court has turned down the complaint.

Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international religious organization that supports offbeat views on the essence of the Christian faith and provides special interpretations of many commonly accepted notions.

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