Russia has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses after the Supreme Court ruled the Christian sect to be an “extremist” group.
The Supreme Court’s ruling sustains the claim of Russia’s ministry of justice that the ‘Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ organisation was extremist.
Judge Yuri Ivanenko said the organisation’s activities should be banned in Russia and “the property of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation is to be confiscated to the state revenue.”
A lawyer for the justice ministry, Svetlana Borisova, told the court adherents “pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security”.
Judges ordered the closure of the group’s Russian headquarters and 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.
Lawyers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses said they would appeal the court’s decision, which has not yet come into effect, and could take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
“We will do everything possible,” Sergei Cherepanov, a Jehovah’s Witnesses representative, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.