Moscow court rejected appeal against ban of Jehovah’s Witnesses – they still in status of “extremist organization”

Moscow`s Zamoskvoretsky court has rejected a lawsuit filed by the Jehovah`s Witnesses religious group against the Justice Ministry`s ruling on banning its activity in Russia, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

The organization asked the court to recognize the Justice Ministry`s ruling as illegal and order its cancellation, TASS reported on April 24.

”The court decided to reject the lawsuit of the religious organization ”Jehovah`s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia,” Judge Nelli Rubtsova said.

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. Jehovah`s Witnesses said it would appeal the decision.

In its lawsuit, the Justice Ministry pointed to various violations by the organization`s activities revealed during a surprise inspection, including of the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activities.

On October 12, 2016, Moscow`s Tverskoy district court issued a warning to the Jehovah`s Witnesses Administrative Center based on revelations of extremism there. Under Russian law, a religious association or organization is subject to termination if it does not remedy the specified manifestations of extremism before the required deadline or displays any new ones.

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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