2017-04-20 00:00:00

Russian Supreme Court declares Russian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses extremist organization, orders its closure

Moscow, April 20, Interfax - The Russian Supreme Court has declared the Russian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses an extremist organization and banned its activities in Russian territory.

The court thus ruled in favor of an administrative lawsuit filed by the Russian Justice Ministry, which asked for the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to be declared extremist, banned and liquidated, an Interfax correspondent reported on Thursday.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that the property of the Russian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses must be confiscated in the state's favor, after recognizing the organization as extremist.

The Russian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses will appeal the judgment at the European Court of Human Rights, its representative said.

"Yes, of course, we will appeal here, at an appellate court. And we have already filed a complaint with the European Court [of Human Rights]. We will do whatever is possible," the organization's representative Sergey Cherepanov told journalists.