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APRIL 17, 2018

Court to Hear Appeal Against Russian Government Seizure of Witnesses’ National Office

On May 3, 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court will hear an appeal from Jehovah’s Witnesses against a ruling to confiscate their former national office in Russia. If the Witnesses lose this appeal, the decision is enforceable and the State can seize the property immediately.

Earlier, the Sestroretskiy District Court ignored evidence that the Witnesses’ office is owned by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (WTPA), a nonprofit corporation based in the United States. WTPA has owned and paid taxes on this property for 17 years. Yet, on December 7, 2017, the district court declared WTPA’s ownership contract invalid. If the Witnesses lose the appeal and exhaust all legal options within Russia, they will bring this grave injustice to the European Court of Human Rights.

Hearings are to begin at 11:30 a.m. on May 3, 2018, in the Saint Petersburg City Court, ul. Basseynaya, 6, St. Petersburg, Russia.