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APRIL 7, 2017

Hearings Continue for a Third Day in the Case to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Russian Federation Supreme Court continued hearings for a third day in the case to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Among others who testified, two directors of the Administrative Center presented objections to the Ministry of Justice’s claim against Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Sergey Cherepanov objected to the Ministry’s demand that the Administrative Center stop violations of the extremism law. However, the Ministry never clarified how the Administrative Center allegedly violated the law or how it could eliminate violations. Another director, Vasiliy Kalin, observed that the Administrative Center has been active for 26 years, and asked: “At what point did we become extremists?” He added that Jehovah’s Witnesses have not changed—they obey the authorities and always adhere to principles of peace. He expressed his concern that persecution of the Witnesses has already begun.

The judge set the hearing to continue on April 12, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.