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Legal Developments and Human Rights


South Korea Guilty of Arbitrary Detention of Conscientious Objectors

Every year, authorities imprison hundreds of young Witnesses as conscientious objectors. For the fifth time, the UN Human Rights Committee states that South Korea has no justification to do so.


Religious Buildings Seized in Eastern Regions of Ukraine

Armed groups forcibly take Kingdom Halls in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Are these random acts of violence, or is it religious persecution?


Armenia Successfully Implements Alternative Civilian Service

Jehovah’s Witnesses who are enrolled in the program, their coworkers, and the program’s directors and supervisors comment on its success.


Highest Administrative Court in France Ends Discrimination

Prisoners in France who request a visit by a minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses now enjoy the same religious freedoms granted to prisoners professing other faiths.


Russian Federation Supreme Court Decision Sets Dangerous Precedent for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

The Court’s ruling jeopardizes the freedom of some 180,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Authorities may interpret it as a de facto ban on the Witnesses’ religious activity.


Russia’s Highest Court Bans Witnesses’ Legal Entity in Samara​—What’s Next?

The Supreme Court’s decision jeopardizes the freedom of some 180,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Authorities may use the ruling as a basis for religious persecution against the Witnesses.


Appeal to Rostov Regional Court—Will the Court Exonerate or Imprison Jehovah’s Witnesses?

On December 11, 2014, the Court will hear the appeal of 16 Witnesses in Taganrog, Russia. They face criminal charges for so-called “extremist” activity.


Turkmenistan Releases Jehovah’s Witnesses Imprisoned for Their Faith

On October 22, 2014, President Berdimuhamedov amnestied eight of Jehovah’s Witnesses who were imprisoned in Turkmenistan for practicing their faith.


Russian Federation Supreme Court to Resume Hearing on Liquidating the Samara Local Religious Organization

On November 12, 2014, the Supreme Court resumes its hearing about the liquidation of the local religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses (LRO) in Samara, Russia.


India’s Landmark Supreme Court Case Upholds Free Speech for Almost 30 Years

The celebrated precedent set by Bijoe Emmanuel v. State of Kerala, involving Jehovah’s Witnesses and the national anthem, has protected the human rights of all citizens in India.


Kyrgyzstan’s Highest Court Upholds Religious Freedom for Jehovah’s Witnesses

On September 4, 2014, the Kyrgyz Republic supported its international commitment to promote human rights by legalizing the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the country.


European Court of Human Rights Upholds Rule of Law in Georgia

On October 7, 2014, the ECHR ruled in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Republic of Georgia. Authorities were found guilty of violating the Witnesses’ religious freedom and other human rights.


Witnesses Appeal to the Russian Federation Supreme Court Over Liquidation of Their Legal Entity in Samara

The Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Samara to reverse a ruling that liquidated their Local Religious Organization (LRO) and declared it extremist.


Twenty Years of Imprisonment in Eritrea​—Will It Ever End?

Three Witness men have been detained for 20 years without being formally charged. Dozens are in prison. Will Eritrea ever end religious persecution?


Mother Released From Prison in Turkmenistan

Bibi Rahmanova was unexpectedly freed from prison on September 2, 2014. Despite international outcry over the case, judges did not clear her of false charges.