2019-02-07 13:27:00

Jehovah's Witnesses situation difficult, issue to be discussed - Peskov (updated)

Moscow, February 7, Interfax - The situation surrounding the Jehovah's Witnesses, which is recognized as extremist in Russia, remains on the agenda, but the problem is difficult, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday, commenting on the sentence Oryol's Zheleznodorozhny District Court gave to Danish citizen Dennis Ole Christensen over the creation of a regional division of the organization.

Asked whether the situation will be analyzed, Peskov said, "It will be analyzed. This is a process, this issue is not easy, but it nevertheless remains on the agenda."

Responding to a question from journalists as to whether Jehovah's Witnesses are an extremist or religious organization from the point of view of common sense, he said, "We cannot use concepts of common sense for state purposes."

"We use, above all, the concepts of legality and illegality. In this situation, the activities of this religious organization are illegal. This is the priority in determining what the situation is," Peskov said.

"Common sense should not, cannot be put in the background, either. Common sense, of course, should be present everywhere, always and continually. But it cannot be a criterion," he said, adding that "the concept of legality is the criterion."

"In this situation, we are talking only about a court ruling," Peskov said.

"We have the Supreme Court, you can address questions to it. I don't think it's a question that should be asked of the presidential administration. This situation has no relation to judicial reform, it is related to the current legislation," he said.