The head of the Office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR) Michael link expressed concern about the recognition in Russia the organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” extremist, reads the statement of the ODIHR.
“I’m worried about unjustified criminalization of peaceful activities of the members of the communities of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Russia, the elimination of this community in the country”, — quotes the Link to his press service.
“The Supreme court’s decision poses a threat to the values and principles upon which a democratic, free, open, pluralistic and tolerant society,” he said.
In turn, the representative of the OSCE Chairman on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination Ingeborg Gabriel stated that “the prohibition, the persecution of innocent people for a simple service, clearly violates the fundamental right to freedom of religion, and with it international standards of human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, so it must as soon as possible to reconsider”.
Also ODIHR has expressed concern that the police stopped a religious service of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
“I urge the Russian authorities to provide observance of the right to freedom of religion or belief, opinion and expression, peaceful Assembly and associations of persons belonging to the community “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Their rights must be respected in accordance with OSCE commitments and international law in the field of human rights,” said Linc.
The Russian armed forces, 20 APR recognized extremist activity “administrative center of Jehovah’s witnesses in Russia” and forbade its performance. The representatives of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” have declared intention to appeal this decision to the European court of human rights. In defense of the organization by the German foreign Ministry and the foreign service of the EU.