Ban of legal entities

The Supreme Court decided to liquidate Jehovah's Witnesses. They are preparing an appeal


The date of April 20, 2017 has a chance to go down in history as a black day for fundamental human freedoms in Russia. Today, the Supreme Court decided to liquidate the centralized religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, as well as all 395 local religious organizations of this religion. From a historical perspective, this decision may lead to the most unfortunate consequences both for believers of different faiths and for Russia's image on the world stage. The situation can be saved by the cancellation of this decision in the appellate instance - a panel consisting of three judges of the Supreme Court.

The believers have already begun to prepare an appeal, which is to be considered within a month.

Meanwhile, concern about the actions of the Ministry of Justice, as well as the decision of the court of first instance, is expressed by numerous organizations both inside and outside Russia. "This lawsuit poses a threat not only to Jehovah's Witnesses, but also to individual freedom in the Russian Federation as a whole," said the UN specialrapporteurs working under the mandate received from the UN Human Rights Council, "We call on the authorities, in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law, to end the judicial process and to review the legislation on combating extremism and its implementation."