Strasbourg court declares illegal dissolving of Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow

by behemot 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • behemot

    The European Court of Human Rights declared illegal on Thursday a ruling by a Russian court in 2004 to dissolve the Moscow branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    It ordered Russia to pay 70,000 euros to the movement's members.

    Russia's Committee of Salvation NGO lodged a suit demanding a halt to the activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow in 1995. The Christian-based movement responded with a countersuit at the Strasbourg court in October 2001.

    In March 2004, a Moscow district court dissolved the organization, which Russia considers a sect, and banned its activities. It said the "sect" encouraged its younger members to disown their families, commit suicide and neglect their civic duties.

    The Strasbourg court said the Moscow court's ruling lacked sufficient grounds and was "too strict a measure."

    Under the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia or the applicants have three months to appeal the ruling in the court's Grand Chamber.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses, with up to seven million believers worldwide and 300,000 in Russia, have already been banned in a number of former Soviet republics.

    The group, best known for its door-to-door evangelistic work, was founded in the United States at the end of the 19th century. It believes that Judgement Day will soon be upon us.

    PARIS, June 10 (RIA Novosti)


  • nelly136

    is that each or is it divided per head?

  • Titus
    ECHR exonerates Moscow Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    STRASBOURG—On Thursday, June 10, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) moved further to protect religious freedom in Russia. The seven judges were unanimous in declaring the liquidation and ban on the activities of the Moscow Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses as unlawful and in violation of the fundamental human rights of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

    In rejecting all the government’s allegations, the judges emphasized that today’s ruling is binding upon Russia and that Russia should take steps to “put an end to the violation found by the Court and to redress so far as possible the effects.”

    The Moscow ban was based on an evaluation of religious belief and was used to justify a harassment campaign with the stated aim to extend the Moscow ban throughout Russia. Jehovah’s Witnesses are experiencing an increase in incidents of harassment and ill-treatment at the hands of individuals and government authorities: arson attacks on places of worship, arrests, unlawful searches, assaults, confiscation of literature, and restrictions against renting and building meeting places. This latest ECHR judgment encourages Russia to protect religious freedom and to reverse the liquidation of the legal entity of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow.

    One reason for the application to the ECHR was the excessive length of the dissolution proceedings. On June 20, 1996, a local prosecutor’s office in Moscow began the first of four criminal investigations against Jehovah’s Witnesses. Almost two years later, on April 13, 1998, the last of the investigations was closed, after it was established that there were no grounds for any criminal case. Only one week later, however, the Northern Administrative Circuit Prosecutor filed a civil lawsuit against Jehovah’s Witnesses. After receiving the results of an expert study, the court dismissed the case on February 23, 2001, ruling that there was no basis for the charges. The beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, not their activity, was the theme of the retrial. Despite the absence of any facts to support the charges, on March 26, 2004, the court liquidated the legal entity of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow and banned its activity.

    Speaking of the importance of today’s decision, Ivan Chaykovskiy, Chairman of the liquidated Moscow Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses said: “This judgment is a victory of common sense over religious intolerance. I hope that as a result of this judgment, the authorities will quickly restore our legal rights and end the nationwide state-sponsored campaign of harassment against Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    Copyright © 2010 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

  • Gayle

    It ordered Russia to pay 70,000 euros to the movement's members.

    Will this money really just go to the WTS headquarters? How will it really be delegated to the 'members?'

    Russia will have to have an organized campaign for the exposure of the Watchtower group, articles in the newspapers, magazines, social groups. Outright house invasions and personal arrests will only counter success. Knowledge of the history of the false prophecy, the lies, the flip-flops, experiences of people who have families broken up, the shunning practice of JWs, the 2-witness pedophile rule, the blood fractions contradiction, the lives lost.

  • Soldier77

    That money is going straight back to the WBTS to cover their legal fees. Those "members" won't see a dime personally.

  • sd-7

    The charges were that the religion encourages its members to: (1) disown their families, (2) commit suicide, and (3) neglect civic duties.

    (1) What?! Outrageous. No Witness would EVER disown their family.

    (2) What, you mean like, the blood issue? Well, they can take fractions. Blame the medical profession for not breaking the blood down into enough fractions for them to take, if anything. Sheesh!

    (3) Come on--everybody knows a draft dodger or three. Alternative civilian service is OK now, remember? So it's cool.

    All in all, no reason to accuse anybody of anything. I expect to hear about this one at the convention, though. Freedom is freedom, even if it's freedom to suck badly and be in a CULT. So...I'm sure this will be attributed to divine intervention as always, rather than just fair-minded humans who made the call that was--ironically--in harmony with human rights.

  • Caedes

    Good, freedom to worship (or not) is a fundamental freedom plus banning them only feeds their JW persecution complex.

    I imagine that a few JWs thought it was the start of armageddon though!

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    What Russia or any group/government needs to do when going after the Borg is CLEARLY show that the motive is NOT to attack the members but to HELP THEM as VICTIMS of the cult. Go after the corporation ONLY and provide FREE counseling services for the local Dubs.

    This IS a human rights issue but the way the Moscow government handled it brought focus on the wrong human rights violators.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    So, the devil's agents resolved to fork over EUR 70,000 to God' people.... just like the Israelites exiting with the treasures of Egypt!

  • Violia

    Maybe Janis Joplin was right, " freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..."

    If I read the report correctly, they are reversing it b/c you can't ban a religion just b/c you don't like what they believe.

Share this