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South Ossetia declares Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘extremists’

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Oct 16, 2017

Sonya Khubaeva.

TBILISI, DFWatch–The supreme court in the breakaway South Ossetia has ruled that JehovahÂ’s Witnesses is an extremist organization and banned its activities.

When the ruling comes into force in a few days, Jehovah’s Witnesses members will face up to 10 years in jail for any religious activities such as assembly and distributing literature.

According to Sonya Khubaeva, the de facto governmentÂ’s commissioner for religious issues, the number of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in South Ossetia has exceeded one thousand, or about 2% of the population. The people who spread this religion in South Ossetia have been sent from Georgia, Khubaeva adds.

The prosecutor general in the de facto republic Uruzmag Jagayev launched court proceedings against Jehovah’s Witnesses in July 2017, blaming them of “propagating extremist ideas and extremist literature”. At the same time, police searched the houses and office of the organization and seized religious literature.

“If the ruling is be appealed, it will enter into force in 10 days,” de facto Justice Minister Zalina Lalieva told Sputnik-Ossetia. “I think they will go underground but their activities will be supervised by the relevant authorities.”

In April, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses was recognized as extremists by the Supreme Court of Russia, which prohibited their activities. In September, various religious groups filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ICHR) in Strasbourg, which is currently reviewing their case.

source 2017 Democracy & Freedom Watch


 "Republic of South Ossetia"It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in its capital city of Tskhinvali.

source Wikipedia

Jehovah's Witnesses in South Ossetia were recognized as an extremist organization
The authorities of South Ossetia became interested in the activities of the organization after reporting to the Prosecutor General's Office that at its meetings literature and extremist ideas are being propagated
TSHINVAL, Oct 11 - Sputnik, Diana Kozaeva. The Supreme Court of South Ossetia granted the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office about the ban on the activity of the religious association "Jehovah's Witnesses" and its recognition as extremist in the territory of the republic, Justice Minister Zalina Lalieva told Sputnik.
Court of South Ossetia is considering a case on the prohibition of "Jehovah's Witnesses"
Attorney General Uruzmag Dzhagaev sued the court in July this year, after both the investigative department of the Prosecutor General's Office received reports that literature and ideas of an extremist nature are distributed and promoted at Witness meetings. Members of the organization conducted searches, during which siloviki seized religious literature, which is included in the list of extremist materials.
"The case was examined last week and within ten days it will come into force if it is not appealed against, and a register of such organizations will be maintained in the future, I believe that they will be collected in some way underground, but their activities will be monitored by the competent authorities" , - said Lalieva.
The Supreme Court of Russia in April of this year recognized the international organization "Jehovah's Witnesses" as extremist and liquidated it.
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The History of Jehovah's Witnesses in Georgia—Country Report

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