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CURRENT LEGAL DEVELOPMENT AS OF Apr. 2 RUSSIA VS. JW


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Jehovah's Witnesses developing strategy to defend suit for prohibition

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FILE 395 PETITIONS IN SUPREME COURT FOR ENTRY INTO CASE

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 31 March 2017

 

All 395 local religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, which the Ministry of Justice is trying to ban behind their backs, have filed petitions in the Supreme Court to be involved in the case in the capacity of co-defendants.

 

According to existing legislation, all local religious organizations are individual legal entities, with their own property, and they are not structural subdivisions, affiliates, nor representatives of one another. They are united to the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia only by unity in the faith and internal canonical relations.

 

An absolute majority of these organizations have never been accused of violating the law. They are puzzled why the Ministry of Justice is demanding their liquidation, prohibition, and recognition as "extremist," especially behind their back. They are especially alarmed that after the liquidation of the organizations, believers may be held criminally liable merely for joint reading of the Bible, as shown by the criminal "Case of the Sixteen" in Taganrog. (tr. by PDS, posted 2 April 2017)

Jehovah's Witnesses not properly notified of suspension

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES APPEAL IN COURT JUSTICE MINISTRY ORDER SUSPENDING ACTIVITY OF THEIR ORGANIZATIONS

Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 31 March 2017

 

The Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia appealed in court the order of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian federation regarding suspension of the activity of all 396 registered organizations of this religion in Russia. The order was issued by the ministry simultaneously with the filing of the plaintiff's declaration in the Supreme Court of the RF for prohibition of all their organizations.

 

Although this order of suspension pertains to all 396 organizations, the Ministry of Justice sent it only to the address of their Administrative Center, and even then, judging by the stamp on the envelope, only five days after it was signed.

 

Believers hope that the court will rule the aforesaid order to be invalid. (tr. by PDS, posted 2 April 2017)

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