Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Russia's Supreme Court Agrees Jehovah's Witness Publications Are "Extremist"

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation yesterday upheld a finding by a Rostov-on-Don Regional Court that 34 specific Jehovah's Witness publications (all published in the U.S. or Germany) are "extremist." Forum 18 reports that under the 2002 Extremism Law, the publications will now be added to the Justice Ministry's Federal List of Extremist Material and banned throughout the country. The Supreme Court also upheld the dissolution of the Taganrog Jehovah's Witness Congregation as extremist. The written opinion of the Supreme Court is not yet available. The lower court's opinion claimed that the publications incited hostility toward other religions, urged refusal of blood transfusions and refusal of civic responsibilities. The only appeal that is now available is to the European Court of Human Rights.