Brussels spoke in support of the religious movement “the Jehovah’s Witnesses”, whose activities were banned in Russia by the Supreme court. This is stated in the statement published on the website of the European external Affairs service (EEAS), which is responsible for the external policy of the EU.
“”Jehovah’s witnesses”, like all other religious organizations should be allowed to peacefully exercise the freedom of Assembly as guaranteed by the Russian Constitution and the international obligations of the Russian Federation and international standards of human rights,” notes the EEAS.
On 20 April the Supreme court (SC) has recognized “Jehovah’s Witnesses” extremist organization and banned all 395 branches operating in the country. The representative of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” have declared readiness to appeal to the court of appeals and, if necessary, to reach the European court of human rights (ECHR). The decision will take effect in 30 days.
March 17, the justice Department appealed to the Supreme court to deny “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Russia because of violations of anti-extremist legislation. A few days later the work of the management centre movement in Russia was suspended. The parent organization made the list of extremist organizations of the Ministry of justice.
In response to this “Jehovah’s Witnesses” has asked the armed forces to recognize them as victims of political repression, however, after hearing the parties ‘ arguments, the court refused to accept the counterclaim.
“Jehovah’s witnesses” is an international religious organization with headquarters in new York. In 2015, there were more than eight million followers in Russia has around 175 thousand of her supporters. Adherents of the movement are accused of negligent attitude to life because of the refusal of medical operations and blood transfusions. Also blame them for not wanting to serve in the army.