Jehovah's Witnesses. Photo:

17 July 2017, 04:31

Jehovah's Witnesses claim sharply increased pressure on their members in Southern Russia

After the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to eliminate 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist, believers from the regions of Southern Russia, questioned by the "Caucasian Knot", complained about the sharp increase in pressure on members of their communities.

On April 20 the SC of Russia satisfied the demand of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to liquidate all the 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist. The believers have treated the verdict as biased and promised to appeal against it.

The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Yaroslav Sivoulsky, a spokesperson for the Management Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, that the decision of the Supreme Court affected 175,000 followers of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, since with the stroke of a pen, the SC liquidated all 396 Jehovah's Witnesses organizations registered in Russia and banned their activities.

According to Yaroslav Sivoulsky, after the pronouncement of the Supreme Court's decision, the believers' rights in Northern Caucasus and Southern Russia are being regularly violated. He has announced the intention to present the evidence of the violations to the Human Rights Council (HRC).

"In the period from March to June, we registered about 27 violations. A significant number of them took place in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories," noted Yaroslav Sivoulsky.

In particular, according to him, there are cases when members of the Jehovah's Witnesses communities are dismissed from work or refused in extension of their labour contract. Besides, believers complain about unlawful searches, as well as damage to property of Jehovah's Witnesses organizations and individual believers.

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

Source: CK correspondents

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