The Russian Supreme Court. Photo

07 April 2017, 15:19

Defence of Jehovah's Witnesses tells on planted evidence and blames MoJ for double standards

The Russia’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is trying to attract the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in its local communities in Russia to responsibility for the sanctions imposed by the courts not on them. Their defence has stated it at the Russian Supreme Court (SC) and insisted that accusations of extremism remain unproved and the evidence was planted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in the MoJ’s opinion, the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses threaten the defence of the society’s rights and interests. In their turn, the respondents treat the attempt to ban their activities as political repressions.

Today, the court has listened to Vasily Kalin, the head of the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, and his deputy Sergey Cherepanov, who drew the court's attention to the fact that within the 26 years of official and almost 100 years of unofficial activities in Russia, the extremism accusations of Jehovah's Witnesses appeared only now; however, nobody has presented any proofs of committed crimes. Only Russian law enforcement bodies suspect believers of extremism, while around 20 million people visit the services of Jehovah's Witnesses all over the world.

Yuri, who acts for respondents, has accused the MoJ of inducing the SC to resort to double standards. According to his version, the MoJ is trying to spread the sanctions, imposed on several local organizations, on the Administrative Centre and 395 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, earlier the court had stated that "decisions against local organizations do not affect the rights of the Administrative Centre."

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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