APRIL 6, 2017
The Russian Federation Supreme Court hearing today began with the Ministry of Justice arguing that it is necessary to ban all the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses because lower court decisions have concluded that some engaged in extremist activity. The judge then asked the representative of the Ministry of Justice how the actions of the 8 impugned entities can justify action against the Administrative Center and all 395 entities in Russia. The judge also asked how liquidating all the entities would affect the worship of the Witnesses, and he repeatedly asked how the Witnesses are a threat to public order and safety. Lawyers for the defense also posed questions that exposed the intent of the Ministry of Justice to ban the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, not merely to liquidate their legal entities.
The hearing will reconvene on April 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.