Supreme Court Decision to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, composed of:

  • Judge of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Yu. G. Ivanenko
  • In the presence of court clerk V. A. Stratiyenko

having considered in open court session the administrative case regarding the administrative statement of claim filed by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation requesting liquidation of the Religious Organisation Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

ESTABLISHED

On 27 March 1991 the Ministry of Justice of the RSFSR [Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic] rendered a decision to register the charter of the Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the USSR, which was founded by 10 individuals at a founding assembly on 10 March 1991. The current version of the charter of the religious organisation called the Religious Organisation Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia (‘Organisation’) was registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on 29 April 1999 and remains in force as amended on 6 December 1992, 21 July 1993 and 8 September 1998. The Organisation’s information was entered in the Common State Registry of Legal Entities on 22 January 2003 at primary state registration number (OGRN) 1037858002467.

The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation filed an administrative statement of claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation requesting liquidation of the Organisation, claiming that as of the date the administrative claim was filed, the Organisation and the 395 local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in its structure carried out their activity in violation of their charter goals and objectives as well as current legislation of the Russian Federation, including the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity dated 25 July 2002 No 114-FZ.

In support of its demand for the Organisation to be liquidated, the administrative claimant states that various informational materials distributed by the Organisation and its local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian Federation have been declared extremist by the courts because the courts established that they contain information inciting religious discord and advocating the exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their attitude toward religion. Specifically, based on enforceable court decisions, 95 printed materials have been added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials (FLEM): publications of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Wachtturm Bibel- und Traktat-Gesellschaft der Zeugen Jehovas, Watch Tower Bible und Traktat-Gesellschaft Deutscher Zwelg [sic] (Nos 510-543, 556-573, 752-757, 975-978, 1042-1045, 2034, 2170, 2224, 2454-2455, 2493, 2632, 2736, 2823, 2988, 3563, 3565, 3600), various issues of the magazine Awake! (Nos 533- 536, 557-563, 1045) and the magazine The Watchtower (Nos 537-543, 564-573, 975-977, 1042-1043).

The following have also been added to that list: the Internet websites http://www.jw.org (No 2904) and http://www.wol.ps8318.com (No 3718), materials posted at the electronic address http://coollib.net/b/275560/read under the title Time for True Submission and materials posted at the website http://www.iw.org/ru/публикации/книги/? contentLanguageFilter=ru&pubFilter=gt&sortВу=1 under the title The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. I

n 2014-2015 the Organisation imported into the Russian Federation the brochure How Did Life Begin? (WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Germany, 2014 printing, 16 pages), 1 194 777 copies; the brochure Listen to God (WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Great Britain, 2011 printing, 32 pages), 140 719 copies; the brochure Does God Really Care About Us? (WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Great Britain, 2006 printing, 32 pages), 265 934 copies; and the print publication Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, 14 881 copies. These publications were all declared extremist (Nos 3565, 3563, 3600 and 2632).

The Organisation is directly involved in financing the local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including those declared extremist by enforceable decisions of Russian Federation courts, which constitutes extremist activity according to paragraph 14 of Article 1(1) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

Since 2009 Russian Federation courts have declared eight local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are part of the Organisation’s structure to be extremist, banned their activity and liquidated them because signs of a threat to the security of the Russian Federation and signs of deliberate extremist activity were discovered in the activity of the religious organisations.

On 2 March 2016 the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation issued a warning to the Organisation that engaging in extremist activity is not permitted.

The administrative claimant states that after the warning was issued, judicial rulings in administrative violation cases established new facts of mass distribution of extremist literature by various local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The claimant believes that these established facts indicate that the Organisation engages in activity that does not comply with its charter goals and objectives and shows signs of extremism, leading to violations of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, public order and public safety.

Also, in the opinion of the administrative claimant, the Organisation’s activity contains signs of engaging in extremist activity. As a centralized religious organisation, the Organisation is the center that coordinates and guides the activity of local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses under it; it imports into the Russian Federation both literature that has already been declared extremist and literature that was subsequently declared extremist; pursuant to provisions in its own charter it provides religious literature to local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses and has a share in financing the activity of local religious organisations, including those that subsequently are declared extremist. However, the Organisation has not taken any effective measures to remove the causes and conditions of extremist activity, and this has led to systemic violations of legislation on counteracting extremist activity committed by numerous elements of the Organisation’s structure.

The administrative claimant holds that, since structural subdivisions of the Organisation engage in extremist activity and the Organisation has failed to take concrete organisational and practical measures to prevent violations of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, there is a threat of violation of the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of the general public and a threat to public order and public safety. Therefore, on the basis of Articles 7(4) and 9 of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity and Articles 6(4) and 14(7) of the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations dated 26 September 1997 No 125-FZ, the administrative claimant requests that the Organisation be declared extremist, that its activity be banned, that the Organisation and the local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are part of its structure be liquidated and that their information be removed from the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities, that whatever property of the Organisation and the local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are part of its structure remains after satisfaction of creditors’ claims be turned over to the Russian Federation, and that the part of the decision to liquidate the Organisation and the local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are part of its structure regarding termination of their activity be immediately enforceable. I

n the Organisation’s written objections to the administrative statement of claim, it requests that the administrative claim be denied, stating that the Organisation never engaged in extremist activity and does not presently engage in such, and stating that the Organisation has never in its entire existence been brought to accountability for violating any provisions of the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations or of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

In the opinion of the administrative defendant, the demands of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation violate the provisions of Articles 28, 29 and 30 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international treaties ratified by the Russian Federation, in particular the constitutional right to freedom of religion and freedom of association, which is also guaranteed under Articles 9 and 11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The administrative defendant argues that liquidation of the Organisation and of local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses will lead to violations of their rights, is not justified, does not pursue a legitimate aim and is not necessary.

The Organisation holds that the informational materials cited in the administrative claim were unjustly declared extremist due to incorrect appraisals made in those cases, in which the Organisation was not admitted to participate. The Organisation is not the author, publisher or right-holder of the informational materials that were added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials. It took all reasonable measures to comply with the requirements of anti-extremism legislation. It never financed extremist activity when providing financial assistance to local religious organisations for them to carry out their charter activity, and those organisations are not regional or structural subdivisions of the Organisation.

In the Organisation’s opinion, the district court decisions in administrative violation cases that were cited by the administrative claimant do not have preclusive effect on the decision in this case because they were not rendered against the Organisation. The Organisation also holds that its liquidation and liquidation of local religious organisations that are part of its structure does not comply with the requirements of law and of international legal obligations of the Russian Federation and, therefore, the administrative claim should be completely denied.

During the trial the representative of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, S. K. Borisova, supported the administrative claim.

The Organisation’s representatives, V. M. Kalin, S. B. Cherepanov, V. Yu. Zhenkov, Yu. M. Toporov, A. S. Omelchenko and M. V. Novakov, did not admit the administrative claim.

Having listened to the statements of the representative of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, S. K. Borisova, and to the objections by representatives of the Religious Organisation Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, V. M. Kalin, S. B. Cherepanov, V. Yu. Zhenkov, Yu. M. Toporov, A. S. Omelchenko and M. V. Novakov, having examined the case materials and having heard the testimony of witnesses and the oral arguments, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation finds that the administrative claim should be granted.

Under Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, everyone is guaranteed freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with others any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views and to act according to them.

While recognizing everyone’s right of association and guaranteeing public associations freedom of activity (Article 30), the Constitution of the Russian Federation prohibits the creation and activity of public associations whose goals and actions are aimed at forced change of the fundamental principles of the constitutional system, at violating the integrity of the Russian Federation, at undermining its security, at setting up armed units, and at instigating social, racial, national and religious strife (Article 13(5)), all forms of limitations of human rights on social, racial, national, linguistic or religious grounds (Article 19(2)), propaganda or agitation instigating social, racial, national or religious hatred and strife, as well as propaganda of social, racial, national, religious or linguistic supremacy (Article 29(2)). The exercise of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen shall not violate the rights and freedoms of other people (Article 17(3)).

Legal relations related to the right of man and citizen to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion as well as the legal status of religious associations, including the particulars of their civil-law status, are regulated by the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, according to which religious associations may be created in the form of religious groups and religious organisations. A religious organisation shall mean a voluntary association of citizens of the Russian Federation or other persons permanently and legally residing on the territory of the Russian Federation created for the purpose of joint profession and dissemination of faith and registered as a legal entity in accordance with the procedure established by law. A centralized religious organisation shall mean a religious organisation that, in accordance with its charter, is composed of no fewer than three local religious organisations (Article 6(2) and Article 8(1) and (4)).

The Organisation is a centralized religious organisation, whose structure currently includes the Presiding Committee, which is the highest administrative agency of the Organisation (point 3.6 of the Charter) and was created by said organisation, and 395 local religious organisations:

  1. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Glazov (OGRN 1061800008511);
  2. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kurdzhinovo’ (OGRN 1020900004289);
  3. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Gorno-Altaysk’ (OGRN 1030400000091);
  4. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Serov’ (OGRN 1036605622437);
  5. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nefteyugansk (OGRN 1038605503496);
  6. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Cherkessk (OGRN 1020900003156);
  7. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Pechora’ (OGRN 1021100006400);
  8. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ukhta’ (OGRN 1021100002010);
  9. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Syktyvkar’ (OGRN 1021100000228);
  10. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Belogorsk (OGRN 1022800017558);
  11. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Sayansk’ (OGRN 1033800006118);
  12. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Vladimir (OGRN 1033303607457);
  13. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Nizhniy Novgorod’ (OGRN 1025200024827);
  14. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Dzerzhinsk of the Nizhegorodskaya Region (OGRN 1025200018480);
  15. Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Tula (OGRN 1037100000057);
  16. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Shadrinsk (OGRN 1034593003873);
  17. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Nogliki of the Sakhalin Region (OGRN 1026500004079);
  18. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Okha (OGRN 1026500003606);
  19. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Skovorodino’ (OGRN 1042800001155);
  20. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Berezovskiy’ (OGRN 1024200006555);
  21. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Korsakov’ (OGRN 1026500003683);
  22. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Guryevsk (OGRN 1034200006026);
  23. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Khanskaya (OGRN 1020100002196);
  24. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Smolensk (OGRN 1026700009995);
  25. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Dorogobuzh (OGRN 1026700006740);
  26. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Tynda (OGRN 1022800017020);
  27. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Ust-Kut (OGRN 1053800031790);
  28. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Mayskiy (OGRN 1020700001740);
  29. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Penza’ (OGRN 1025800010686);
  30. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Arbekovo, Penza’ (OGRN 1035800008562);
  31. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Zimovniki and the Zimovnikovskiy District (OGRN 1036100002476);
  32. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Tsimlyansk (OGRN 1026100030274);
  33. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Vorkuta (OGRN 1021100005970);
  34. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Osinniki (OGRN 1034200006015);
  35. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Prokopyevsk’ (OGRN 1034200006686);
  36. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Novokuznetsk’ (OGRN 1034200010261);
  37. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Yarega (OGRN 1021100005365);
  38. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Izhevsk (OGRN 1031802480236);
  39. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Sharya of the Kostroma Region (OGRN 1024400007521);
  40. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Mikun’ (OGRN 1021100006443);
  41. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Dinskaya (OGRN 1022300004649);
  42. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kholmsk (OGRN 1026500003166);
  43. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of YuzhnoSakhalinsk (OGRN 1026500003694);
  44. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Blagoveshchensk (OGRN 1022800003170);
  45. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Dimitrovgrad (OGRN 1037301680184);
  46. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Belorechensk (OGRN 1032335010916);
  47. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kaluga (OGRN 1024000006832);
  48. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Ulan-Ude (OGRN 1020300000555);
  49. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kaltan (OGRN 1034200006301);
  50. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Vyborg (OGRN 1034700001038);
  51. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kirishi (OGRN 1034700003117);
  52. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sosnoviy Bor (OGRN 1034700005372);
  53. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Slantsy (OGRN 1034700003766);
  54. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nalchik (OGRN 1020700001717);
  55. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nizheudinsk (OGRN 1033800004260);
  56. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zeya (OGRN 1022800003291);
  57. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City-Resort Anapa (OGRN 1032335027163);
  58. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Nikolsk’ (OGRN 1035800005702);
  59. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Apsheronsk (OGRN 1032335025337);
  60. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Sochi’ (OGRN 1032335027515);
  61. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Prokhladniy (OGRN 1020700001618);
  62. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Inta (OGRN 1031100001569);
  63. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Krasnooktyabrskiy of the Maykopskiy District (OGRN 1020100003263);
  64. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Noyabrsk (OGRN 1028900001987);
  65. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Yoshkar-Ola’ (OGRN 1021200002218);
  66. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kostroma (OGRN 1024400008588);
  67. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Neftekamsk (OGRN 1030200003327);
  68. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Gelendzhik’ (OGRN 1032335028252);
  69. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Teykovo (OGRN 1033700023939);
  70. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kogalym (OGRN 1038605503188);
  71. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Vichuga (OGRN 1033700022377);
  72. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Myski’ (OGRN 1034200008370);
  73. Local Religious Organisation ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Beslan’ (OGRN 1021500002358);
  74. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Kemerovo’ (OGRN 1034200000922);
  75. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kurgan (OGRN 1024500001899);
  76. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Minusinsk (OGRN 1032400001919);
  77. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Adygeysk (OGRN 1020100003373);
  78. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Severodvinsk (OGRN 1022900004599);
  79. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Borisoglebsk of the Voronezh Region (OGRN 1023600008497);
  80. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Monchegorsk (OGRN 1025100003752);
  81. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kandalaksha (OGRN 1025100003576);
  82. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kurganinsk (OGRN 1032335003964);
  83. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Novotitarovskaya (OGRN 1032335011257);
  84. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Tsentralnaya, Belovo (OGRN 1034200000614);
  85. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Armavir (OGRN 1032335017505);
  86. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Giaginskaya (OGRN 1020100003648);
  87. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Maykop (OGRN 1020100003197);
  88. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kotlas (OGRN 1032902531562);
  89. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of KamenskShakhtinskiy (OGRN 1026100026193);
  90. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Ivanovo (OGRN 1033700024038);
  91. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Azovskiy District (OGRN 1026100031066);
  92. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kostomuksha’ (OGRN 1031002194937);
  93. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Nezlobnaya of the Georgiyevskiy District (OGRN 1032602090542);
  94. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Ivanovskiy of the Kochubeyevskiy District of the Stavropol Territory (OGRN 1022600002006);
  95. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Nevinnomyssk (OGRN 1022600003887);
  96. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Voronezh’ (OGRN 1033692004565);
  97. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nizhnyaya Tura (OGRN 1036605605850);
  98. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Pervouralsk (OGRN 1036605602164);
  99. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Vologda’ (OGRN 1033501071735);
  100. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Snezhnogorsk’ (OGRN 1025100002564);
  101. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Verkhnyaya Pyshma (OGRN 1036605604331);
  102. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Kursk) (OGRN 1034690004425);
  103. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Yekaterinburg (OGRN 1036605606400);
  104. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Polyarniy (OGRN 1025100003433);
  105. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Nartkala (OGRN 1020700001233);
  106. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Vladikavkaz (OGRN 1021500002963);
  107. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Murmansk’ (OGRN 1035100155420);
  108. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Novoaleksandrovsk (OGRN 1022600007275);
  109. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Kochubeyevskiy District (OGRN 1022600003580);
  110. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Georgiyevsk (OGRN 1032602090564);
  111. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Tulsk (OGRN 1020100003483);
  112. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Sovetsk of the Kaliningrad Region (OGRN 1033918508810);
  113. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Mozdok (OGRN 1021500002941);
  114. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Sortavala (OGRN 1031002195465);
  115. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Bryansk’ (OGRN 1033200008313);
  116. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Apatity’ (OGRN 1025100003807);
  117. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Seversk (OGRN 1037000002600);
  118. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kirovsk (OGRN 1025100002663);
  119. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kaliningrad’ (OGRN 1033918505917);
  120. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Vilyuchinsk’ (OGRN 1024100001023);
  121. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Cherepovets of the Vologda Region (OGRN 1033501071977);
  122. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Severomorsk (OGRN 1025100003708);
  123. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Usinsk’ (OGRN 1021100006377);
  124. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia ‘Tsentralnaya, Stavropol’ (OGRN 1032602095261);
  125. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kineshma (OGRN 1033700020793);
  126. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of LeninskKuznetskiy (OGRN 1034200007093);
  127. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Novopovlovsk (OGRN 1022600001060);
  128. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kislovodsk (OGRN 1022600002347);
  129. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Zheleznovodsk (OGRN 1022600002336);
  130. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kokhma (OGRN 1033700021937);
  131. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Svetlograd (OGRN 1032602090685);
  132. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Derbent’ (OGRN 1020500003556);
  133. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ipatovo’ (OGRN 1022600004899);
  134. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Alagir (OGRN 1021500000642);
  135. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy’ (OGRN 1024100001837);
  136. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Vladivostok (OGRN 1032500004437);
  137. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Chelyabinsk’ (OGRN 1037400003948);
  138. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kiselevsk (OGRN 1034200010602);
  139. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of AnzheroSudzhensk (OGRN 1034200009414);
  140. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Pskov (OGRN 1026000006075);
  141. Local Christian Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Primorskoye’ (OGRN 1159204018775);
  142. Local Christian Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sevastopol (OGRN 1159204018764);
  143. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Blagodarniy (OGRN 1022600006901);
  144. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Bezopasnoye of the Trunovskiy District (OGRN 1032602099200);
  145. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Millerov (OGRN 1026100030770);
  146. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Velikiye Luki’ (OGRN 1026000004557);
  147. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Tashtagol (OGRN 1034200009458);
  148. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Gusinoozersk (OGRN 1020300000160);
  149. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Petrozavodsk’ (OGRN 1031002190460);
  150. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Biryusinsk (OGRN 1033800001047);
  151. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Mineralniye Vody’ (OGRN 1022600002567);
  152. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Astrakhan (OGRN 1023000866228);
  153. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sovetskaya Gavan (OGRN 1032700000233);
  154. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Komsomolsk-onAmur (OGRN 1022700004645);
  155. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zelenokumsk (OGRN 1032602090696);
  156. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Yelizovo (OGRN 1024100002079);
  157. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Pyatigorsk (OGRN 1022600002325);
  158. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Solnechnodolsk (OGRN 1022600000895);
  159. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Yessentuki (OGRN 1022600006098);
  160. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Surgut (OGRN 1038605503023);
  161. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Budennovsk (OGRN 1022600005680);
  162. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Liskinskiy District of the Voronezh Region (OGRN 1033692003531);
  163. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Almetyevsk of the ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ (OGRN 1031659006235);
  164. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Simferopol (OGRN 1159102088243);
  165. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Razdolnoye (OGRN 1159102088166);
  166. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Chernomorskoye (OGRN 1159102087870);
  167. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Mirniy (OGRN 1159102088188);
  168. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Nizhnegorskiy (OGRN 1159102088200);
  169. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Pervomayskoye (OGRN 1159102088309);
  170. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Krasnoperekopsk (OGRN 1159102088199);
  171. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Yasniy (OGRN 1035600008091);
  172. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nikolayevsk-onAmur (OGRN 1032700000585);
  173. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Lesozavodsk (OGRN 1032500006802);
  174. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nizhnekamsk and the Nizhnekamskiy District of the ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ (OGRN 1031659007489);
  175. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Naberezhniye Chelny of the ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ (OGRN 1031659013484);
  176. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Pereyaslav (OGRN 1032700000563);
  177. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Spassk-Dalniy (OGRN 1032500009706);
  178. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zainsk of the ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ (OGRN 1021600014589);
  179. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Khabarovsk (OGRN 1032700000123);
  180. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Chernyakhovsk of the Kaliningrad Region (OGRN 1033918502870);
  181. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Ulyanovsk (OGRN 1027300008120);
  182. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Igra (OGRN 1031802484647);
  183. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Votkinsk (OGRN 1031802484658);
  184. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Tutayev (OGRN 1027600006356);
  185. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Sarapul (OGRN 1031802484636);
  186. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Rybinsk (OGRN 1037602802071);
  187. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zheleznogorsk (OGRN 1064600009660);
  188. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kirov (OGRN 1034300006333);
  189. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Yalta (OGRN 1159102088298);
  190. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Saki (OGRN 1159102088177);
  191. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kerch (OGRN 1159102088210);
  192. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Shchelkino (OGRN 1159102088111);
  193. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Sivash’ (OGRN 1159102088144);
  194. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Dzhankoy (OGRN 1159102087649);
  195. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Ussuriysk (OGRN 1032500008760);
  196. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Stariy Krym (OGRN 1159102087715);
  197. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Gvardeyskoye (OGRN 1159102087550);
  198. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Voskhod (OGRN 1159102088254);
  199. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Bryanskoye (OGRN 1159102088287);
  200. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kovrov of the Vladimir Region (OGRN 1033303606478);
  201. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Feodosiya (OGRN 1159102088133);
  202. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Krasnogvardeyskoye (OGRN 1159102088265);
  203. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kazan of the ‘Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ (OGRN 1031659010976);
  204. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Rostov (OGRN 1037602800509);
  205. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Mezhdurechensk’ (OGRN 1034200005509);
  206. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kislyar (OGRN 1020500004304);
  207. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Chita’ (OGRN 1037575003245);
  208. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Luchegorsk (OGRN 1032500006065);
  209. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kirovo-Chepetsk (OGRN 1034300008236);
  210. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Nakhodka (OGRN 1032500006220);
  211. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zarechniy (OGRN 1065800028139);
  212. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Nazarovo (OGRN 1022400011083);
  213. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Raduzhniy (OGRN 1038605502870);
  214. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Neman of the Kaliningrad Region (OGRN 1033918507150);
  215. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Zima (OGRN 1033800003225);
  216. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Tulun (OGRN 1033800004810);
  217. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Belaya Kalitva (OGRN 1026100020430);
  218. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Slyudyanka (OGRN 1033800004116);
  219. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Oktyabrskiy (OGRN 1033800001245);
  220. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Shelekhov (OGRN 1033800001278);
  221. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Chunskiy (OGRN 1023800007440);
  222. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Omsk’ (OGRN 1035500001008);
  223. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Yaroslavl (OGRN 1027600010426);
  224. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Zalari (OGRN 1033800003214);
  225. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Nizhnevartovsk (OGRN 1028600005940);
  226. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Lesosibirsk (OGRN 1022400013910);
  227. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Krasnoyarsk’ (OGRN 1032400001677);
  228. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Achinsk (OGRN 1022400011314);
  229. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Rubtsovsk’ (OGRN 1022200528690);
  230. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Bataysk (OGRN 1026100010606);
  231. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Novocherkassk (OGRN 1026100031209);
  232. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Orsk (OGRN 1035600009378);
  233. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Yugorsk (OGRN 1038605502814);
  234. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Iskitim and the Iskitimskiy District (OGRN 1075400001313);
  235. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Gukovo’ (OGRN 1026100027876);
  236. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Aleysk’ (OGRN 1022240532456);
  237. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Asino (OGRN 1037000000663);
  238. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Severnaya, Tomsk’ (OGRN 103700000663);
  239. Local Christian Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Lipetsk (OGRN 1024800004789);
  240. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sorsk (OGRN 1021900004620);
  241. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Norilsk’ (OGRN 1022400010104);
  242. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Yuzhnaya, Abakan’ (OGRN 1031900000252);
  243. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Bolshoy Kamen (OGRN 1062500014752);
  244. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kansk’ (OGRN 1032400001369);
  245. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Novokubansk and the Novokubanskiy District (OGRN 1032335035490);
  246. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Beltirskoye (OGRN 1051900007378);
  247. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Abaza (OGRN 1021900004598);
  248. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kalach of the Voronezh Region (OGRN 1023600014514);
  249. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Chernogorsk (OGRN 1021900002882);
  250. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Adler’ (OGRN 1032335014216);
  251. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Arsenyev (OGRN 1032500007022);
  252. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Shirinskiy District (OGRN 1031900000285);
  253. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sayanogorsk (OGRN 1031900001396);
  254. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Volzhskiy of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1023400008598);
  255. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kamyshin of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1023400008719);
  256. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Leninsk of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1023400016265);
  257. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Armyansk (OGRN 159102088221);
  258. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Krasnoarmeyskiy District of the City of Volgograd (OGRN 1033401262190);
  259. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Krasnoarmeysk of the Saratov Region (OGRN 1026401733929);
  260. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Shebekino of the Belgorod Region (OGRN 1023100018480);
  261. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Balakovo of the Saratov Region (OGRN 1026401424070);
  262. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Salavat’ (OGRN 1030200009080);
  263. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kumertau’ (OGRN 1030200004010);
  264. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Sosnovoborsk’ (OGRN 1022400009466);
  265. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kyzyl (OGRN 1021700001058);
  266. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of St. Petersburg (OGRN 1037858025204);
  267. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Dalnegorsk (OGRN 1022500615510);
  268. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Gubkin (OGRN 1023100003541);
  269. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kuragino’ (OGRN 1032400003130);
  270. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kotovo of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1023400005001);
  271. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Slavgorod’ (OGRN 1022200529010);
  272. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Mikhaylovka of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1033401262366);
  273. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Shakhty (OGRN 1026100026512);
  274. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Volsk of the Saratov Region (OGRN 1026401676817);
  275. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Orenburg’ (OGRN 1025600006772);
  276. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Buzuluk (OGRN 1035600006970);
  277. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Volgograd of the Krasnooktyabrskiy District (OGRN 1023400007069);
  278. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Balashov of the Saratov Region (OGRN 1026401596605);
  279. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Traktorozavodskiy District of the City of Volgograd (OGRN 1023400009885);
  280. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Kotelnikovo of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1033401260705);
  281. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Monolit, Volgograd’ (OGRN 1023400015715);
  282. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Surovikino (OGRN 1033401263169);
  283. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Yelshanskaya, Volgograd’ (OGRN 1023400013856);
  284. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Belebey (OGRN 1030200000379);
  285. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Donetsk (OGRN 1026100018603);
  286. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Uchaly (OGRN 1030200009840);
  287. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Barnaul’ (OGRN 1022200529801);
  288. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Irkutsk’ (OGRN 1033800003126);
  289. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Angarsk’ (OGRN 1033800005810);
  290. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Severnaya, Usolye-Sibirskoye’ (OGRN 1033800001070);
  291. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Zheleznogorsk’ (OGRN 1022400008839);
  292. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Bratsk’ (OGRN 1033800004270);
  293. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Baluyskiy District of the Belgorod Region (OGRN 1023100018644);
  294. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Boguchany of the Krasnoyarsk Territory (OGRN 1032400001105);
  295. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Svetliy Yar of the Volgograd Region (OGRN 1023400012460);
  296. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ufa’ (OGRN 1030200002800);
  297. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Biysk’ (OGRN 1032202360233);
  298. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ust-Ilimsk’ (OGRN 1033800001168);
  299. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Volgodonsk (OGRN 1026100030208);
  300. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralniy Khazan’ (OGRN 1033800005535);
  301. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Shushenskoye (OGRN 1032400002447);
  302. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Zelenogorsk (OGRN 1032400004009);
  303. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Artem (OGRN 1032500002754);
  304. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tayshet’ (OGRN 1033800002950);
  305. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Zarinsk’ (OGRN 1022200527436);
  306. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Padunskiy District of the City of Bratsk (OGRN 1023800007076);
  307. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of ZheleznogorskIlimskiy (OGRN 1023800007109);
  308. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Vikhorevka’ (OGRN 1033800005799);
  309. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Cheremkhovo (OGRN 1033800003918);
  310. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Priyutovo of the Belebeyevskiy District of the Republic of Bashkortostan (OGRN 1050200020420);
  311. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Dalnerechensk (OGRN 1062500013146);
  312. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Zverevo (OGRN 1026100027117);
  313. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Lysva (OGRN 1035900003523);
  314. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Solikamsk (OGRN 1025900008089);
  315. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya of the City of Rostov-on-Don’ (OGRN 1026100019220);
  316. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Salsk (OGRN 1026100023840);
  317. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Ozersk (OGRN 1077400003581);
  318. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Podolsk (OGRN 1035000016919);
  319. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Miass (OGRN 1077400002514);
  320. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Lyubertsy (OGRN 1035000018096);
  321. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Novoshakhtinsk’ (OGRN 1026100026699);
  322. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Solnechnogorskiy District (OGRN 1035000015390);
  323. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Volokolamsk (OGRN 1035000009857);
  324. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Shaturskiy District (OGRN 1035000000342);
  325. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Khimkinskiy District (OGRN 1055000012099);
  326. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Sharypovo (OGRN 1032400004119);
  327. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Voskresenskiy District (OGRN 1035000010143);
  328. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Buguruslan (OGRN 1025600006079);
  329. Local Christian Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kuybyshev’ (OGRN 1035400007191);
  330. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Dudinka (OGRN 1028400004599);
  331. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Orekhovo-Zuyevskiy District of the Moscow Region (OGRN 1035000024707);
  332. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Chaykovskiy (OGRN 1035900004711);
  333. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Fryazino (OGRN 1035000007613);
  334. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Odintsovskiy District (OGRN 1035000030581);
  335. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Dubna (OGRN 1035000013058);
  336. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Saratov (OGRN 1026402487770);
  337. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Krasnoturyinsk (OGRN 1036605623658);
  338. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Perm (OGRN 1035900003105);
  339. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Ozerskiy District (OGRN 1035000015104);
  340. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Talmenka (OGRN 1092202000725);
  341. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Krasnogorskiy District (OGRN 1035000019075);
  342. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Zhukovskiy (OGRN 1035000012343);
  343. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Chekhov (OGRN 1035000011155);
  344. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Balashikhinskiy District (OGRN 1035000023464);
  345. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Saransk’ (OGRN 1031322002051);
  346. Local Christian Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Zarechnaya, Novosibirsk’ (OGRN 1035400007565);
  347. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Serpukhov and the Serpukhovskiy District (OGRN 1035000030834);
  348. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Uspenskiy District (OGRN 1032335029825);
  349. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kropotkin (OGRN 1032335030001);
  350. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Nizhniy Tagil’ (OGRN 1026600000899);
  351. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Severouralsk’ (OGRN 1036605621491);
  352. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Staroshcherbinovskaya (OGRN 1032335032586);
  353. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Tikhoretsk (OGRN 1032335030056);
  354. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Ust-Labinsk (OGRN 1032335019661);
  355. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Tbilisskaya (OGRN 1032335017967);
  356. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Labinsk (OGRN 1032335028660);
  357. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Kanevskaya (OGRN 1032335032553);
  358. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Kalininskaya (OGRN 1032335032982);
  359. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Krymsk (OGRN 1032335028087);
  360. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Temryuk (OGRN 1032335034368);
  361. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Shchelkovskiy District (OGRN 1035000021682);
  362. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Yeysk’ (OGRN 1032335027053);
  363. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of PrimorskoAkhtarsk (OGRN 1032335016636);
  364. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Timashevsk (OGRN 1032335005746);
  365. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Krasnodar (OGRN 1032335006153);
  366. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Chapayevsk (OGRN 1036303399186);
  367. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Syzran (OGRN 1036303397646);
  368. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tolyatti’ (OGRN 1036303398867);
  369. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Krasnoselskiy (OGRN 1032335031915);
  370. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Sergiyevo-Posadskiy District (OGRN 1035000021100);
  371. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Korolev (OGRN 1035000011452);
  372. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Slavyansk-onKuban and the Slavyanskiy District (OGRN 1032335019694);
  373. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Otradnaya (OGRN 1032335029760);
  374. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Mytishchinskiy District (OGRN 1035000019306);
  375. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Baltiyskoye’ (OGRN 1077800023322);
  376. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Pavlovskaya (OGRN 1032335001962);
  377. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Staronizhestebliyevskaya of the Krasnoarmeyskiy District (OGRN 1022300004540);
  378. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Korenovsk (OGRN 1032335018726);
  379. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Tuapse (OGRN 1032335029540);
  380. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Kushchevskaya (OGRN 1032335018968);
  381. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Novorossiysk (OGRN 1032335038449);
  382. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ilskiy’ (OGRN 1032335018022);
  383. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Town of Lazarevskoye (OGRN 1032335027010);
  384. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Ladozhskoye’ (OGRN 1077800020649);
  385. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Nevskoye’ (OGRN 1077800024433);
  386. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Vyselki (OGRN 1032335024590);
  387. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Goryachiy Klyuch (OGRN 1032335034380);
  388. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Neryungri (OGRN 1021400006374);
  389. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Town of Chulman (OGRN 1021400006066);
  390. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Gulkevichi (OGRN 1032335032080);
  391. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Udachniy’ (OGRN 1021400003020);
  392. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Klinskiy District (OGRN 1035000018932);
  393. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Pushkinskiy District (OGRN 1035000021540);
  394. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Leninskiy District (OGRN 1035000008922);
  395. Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow (OGRN 1157700007189).

Additionally, more than 2 500 religious groups (congregations) are organised under the direction of the administrative defendant.

According to the Organisation’s charter, its primary forms of activity include: coordination of the preaching activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses for practicing and dissemination of faith, including preaching in public places and in residential premises; rendering necessary and possible informational, legal, consultative and other assistance to Jehovah’s Witnesses; coordination and direction of the activity of religious associations that enter into the Center’s structure; representation and defense of their interests; providing them with religious literature, literature for worship and items for religious purposes; rendering assistance to them in construction of buildings and structures for worship (sites for religious purposes), as well as financial, material, technical, informational, legal, consultative, methodical and other assistance necessary for performing their religious activity; production, acquisition, translation, export, import and distribution of religious literature, literature for worship, printed, audio and video material and other items for religious purposes; and storage and delivery of literature, materials and other items for religious purposes (points 2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.6 and 2.2.9).

The basic grounds for liquidating a religious organisation are specified in Article 14 of the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations. One of these legal grounds is: actions aimed at carrying out extremist activity (paragraph three under point 2). Additionally, a religious organisation can be liquidated and the activity of a religious association that is not a religious organisation can be banned in accordance with the procedure and on the grounds specified in the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity (point 7).

In order to protect the rights and freedoms of man and citizen and the fundamentals of the constitutional system, and to ensure the integrity and security of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity defines the legal and organisational basis for counteracting extremist activity and establishes accountability for carrying it out.

Extremist activity (extremism) is: forced change to the fundamentals of the constitutional system and violation of the integrity of the Russian Federation; public justification of terrorism or other terrorist activity; incitement of social, racial, national, or religious discord; advocacy of the exclusivity, superiority, or inferiority of a person on the basis of his social, racial, national, or religious affiliation or his language or attitude toward religion; violation of the rights, freedoms, and lawful interests of man and citizen based on his social, racial, national, or religious affiliation or his language or attitude toward religion; hindrance to the exercise by citizens of their electoral rights and the right to participate in referendums, or violation of the secrecy of the ballot, combined with violence or threats of violence; hindrance to the lawful activities of state agencies, agencies of local self government, election commissions, public and religious associations, or other organisations, combined with violence or threats of violence; committing crimes with the motives indicated in Article 63(1e) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation; advocacy or public display of Nazi paraphernalia or emblems, or of paraphernalia or emblems similar enough to be confused with Nazi paraphernalia or emblems; or public display of paraphernalia or emblems of extremist organisations; public calls to carry out said actions or the mass distribution of materials known to be extremist, or their production or storage for the purpose of mass distribution; making knowingly false accusations in public against individuals holding state office in the Russian Federation or state office in a subject of the Russian Federation of committing the crimes indicated in the present Article during their tenure in office; organizing and preparing said actions, and inciting their performance; financing the indicated actions or otherwise assisting in the organisation, preparation, and execution of the above indicated actions, including by means of educational, printing, or material and technical resources, telephones and other forms of communication, or informational services (Article 1(1) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity).

That federal law bans the creation and activity of public or religious associations or other organisations whose goals and actions are aimed at carrying out extremist activity; it also bans the distribution of extremist materials, their production, or their storage with the aim of distribution (Article 9(1) and Article 13(1)).

Article 7(1) of that federal law establishes that if facts are discovered attesting to the presence of signs of extremism in the activity of a public or religious association or other organisation, including in the activity of at least one of its regional or other structural subdivisions, a written warning that such activity is not permitted shall be issued, indicating the specific grounds for issuing the warning, including the violations committed.

On 2 March 2016 the deputy prosecutor general of the Russian Federation issued a warning to the Organisation that extremist activity is prohibited; the warning stated that as of 1 March 2016 on the basis of enforceable decisions of courts of the Russian Federation 88 informational materials published by organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses were declared extremist. These materials were added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials (FLEM) under numbers 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 542, 543, 556, 557, 558, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 566, 567, 568, 569, 570, 571, 572, 573, 752, 753, 754, 755, 756, 757, 975, 976, 977, 978, 1042, 1043, 1044, 1045, 2034, 2170, 2444, 2454, 2455, 2455, 2455, 2455, 2493, 2493, 2493 and 2493. Prosecutors in the Republic of Kalmykia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkessia Republics, Krasnodar and Primorsk Territories, Belgorod, Kemerovo, Kurgansk, Novosibirsk, Rostov and Tyumen Regions, the Jewish Autonomous Region and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area–Yugra issued to directors of agencies of local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses 18 warnings that extremist activity and distribution of extremist materials is prohibited. Despite the preventive measures taken, the structural subdivisions of the Organisation continue to manifest signs of extremism, which leads to the liquidation of local religious organisations (volume 1, case papers 135–138).

This warning was appealed by the Organisation first to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation and then in court. The 12 October 2016 decision by the Tverskoy District Court of the City of Moscow, upheld by the 16 January 2017 appeal ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Moscow City Court, found the warning to be lawful and valid.

On 27 January 2017 the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation received request No 27/3-237-2016/Nd2686-17 from the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the Organisation for compliance with legislation on religious associations and for compliance of its activity with its charter goals.

During the inspection it was established that the Organisation’s activity violates its charter goals and objectives as well as current legislation of the Russian Federation, including the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

Decree No 268 dated 26 April 2010 (edition dated 18 May 2010, Decree No 308) of the Federal Service for Oversight in the Field of Communication, Information Technologies and Mass Communications revoked the permit issued on 24 July 1997 to distribute the foreign periodical publications Awake! and The Watchtower on the territory of the Russian Federation; the Organisation was the applicant and distributor of said periodical publications.

Ninety-five printed materials published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Wachtturm Bibel- und Traktat-Gesellschaft der Zeugen Jehovas, Watch tower Bible- und Traktat-Gesellschaft Deutscher Zwelg (Nos 510-543, 556-573, 752-757, 975-978, 1042-1045, 2034, 2170, 2224, 2454-2455, 2493, 2632, 2736, 2823, 2988, 3563, 3565, 3600), including several issues of the magazine Awake! (Nos 533-536, 557-563, 1045) and the magazine The Watchtower (Nos 537-543, 564-573, 975-977, 1042-1043), were declared extremist by enforceable court decisions.

Additionally, the following Internet sites were added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials: http://www.jw.org (No 2904), which is the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses; http://www.wol.ps8318.com (No 3718), which is an online library of Jehovah’s Witnesses; as well as materials posted at the electronic address http://coollib.net/b/275560/read entitled The Time for True Submission, and material posted at http://www.jw.org/ru/публикации/книги/?contentLanguageFilter=ru&pubFilter=gt&sortВу =1 entitled The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.

According to the Organisation’s 2014 financial performance report, approved by the Organisation’s Presiding Committee on 18 February 2015, the Organisation spent 39 046 000 rubles on expenses connected with the shipment of religious literature and religious items. In 2015, according to the Organisation’s 2015 financial performance report, approved by the Organisation’s Presiding Committee on 3 February 2016, the Organisation spent 8 817 000 rubles on such expenses.

According to information obtained from the Severo-Zapadniy Customs Directorate of the Federal Customs Service through inter-agency cooperation, during the inspection period (2014-2017) the Organisation filled out 85 declarations for goods, including printed books and brochures with religious content in the amount of 106 718 198 items (2014–2015).

In particular, in 2014 the Organisation imported into the Russian Federation the brochure How Did Life Begin? (WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Germany, published in 2014, 16 pages), in a quantity of 1 194 777 pieces; the brochure Listen to God (WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Great Britain, published in 2011, 32 pages), in a quantity of 140 719 pieces, the brochure Does God Really Care About Us? (WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, made in Great Britain, published in 2006, 32 pages), in a quantity of 265 934 pieces, which were declared extremist and added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials under No 3565, No 3563 and No 3600 respectively, by the 19 February 2016 decision of the Serovskiy District Court of the Sverdlovsk Region.

In 2014-2015 the Organisation imported into the Russian Federation the print publication Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education in a quantity of 14 881 pieces, which publication was declared extremist and added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials under No 2632 on the basis of the 27 November 2014 [ruling] of the Stariy Oskol City Court of the Belgorod Region.

Eight local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses that are part of the structure of the Organisation are extremist organisations and were liquidated by enforceable court decisions on grounds prescribed by the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

According to materials submitted by the administrative claimant, on the basis of the 11 September 2009 decision of the Rostov Regional Court, upheld by the 8 December 2009 ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Taganrog’ was liquidated.

On the basis of the 29 May 2014 decision of the Samara Regional Court, upheld by the 12 November 2014 ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Samara was liquidated.

On the basis of the 4 March 2015 decision of the Krasnodar Territorial Court, upheld by the 5 August 2015 ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Abinsk was liquidated.

On the basis of the 10 February 2016 decision of the Belgorod Regional Court, upheld by the 16 June 2016 appellate ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Stariy Oskol, was liquidated.

On the basis of the 11 February 2016 decision of the Belgorod Regional Court, upheld by the 9 June 2016 appellate ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Belgorod was liquidated.

On the basis of the 25 February 2016 decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kalmykia, upheld by the 7 July 2016 appellate ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Elista was liquidated.

On the basis of the 14 June 2016 decision of the Orel Regional Court, upheld by the 18 October 2016 appellate ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Orel’ was liquidated.

On the basis of the 3 October 2016 decision of the Jewish Autonomous Regional Court, upheld by the 9 February 2017 appellate ruling of the Judicial Chamber for Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Birobidzhan was liquidated.

During the inspection period in 2014 the Organisation took decisions to provide financial assistance in the form of voluntary donations totaling 630 023 900 rubles to 84 local religious organisations that were part of the Organisation’s structure, to be used for their charter goals; in 2015, 1 280 680 000 rubles to 130 local religious organisations for their charter goals; in 2016, 72 850 000 rubles to 22 local religious organisations for their charter goals; and 1 800 000 rubles to 3 local religious organisations during the inspection period in 2017.

According to the balance sheets for Account 86.05 (Targeted Funding – Donations), for the inspection period in 2014 credit transactions (funds received from local religious organisations) for that period amounted to 6 434 682.92 rubles; in 2015, 9 173 782.55 rubles; in 2016, 11 609 685.10 rubles; during the inspection period in 2017, 413 000 rubles. According to the balance sheets for Account 76.11 (Settlements with local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses) for the inspection period in 2014 transactions amounted to 214 696 665.41 rubles; in 2015, 410 385 590.60 rubles; in 2016, 103 712 739.67 rubles; during the inspection period in 2017, 717 720 rubles.

It is evident from these documents that recipients of funds included the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Orel’, Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Birobidzhan and Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Belgorod, which were liquidated for engaging in extremist activity. The Organisation was directly involved in financing them.

Under Article 7(4) of the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, if a warning was not contested in court according to established procedure or was not declared unlawful by a court, and if during the time period stipulated in the warning the respective public or religious association, other organisation, or their regional or other structural subdivisions failed to remedy the violations committed that served as grounds for the warning, or if within 12 months from the day the warning was issued new facts have been discovered attesting to signs of extremism in their activity, the respective public or religious association or other organisation shall be liquidated, and the activity of the public or religious association that is not a legal entity shall be banned in accordance with the procedure set out in the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

As evident from the case materials, after the 2 March 2016 warning was issued, which was not declared to be unlawful, new facts testifying to signs of extremism were discovered in the activity of local religious organisations that are part of the structure of the Organisation.

Article 20.29 of the RF Code of Administrative Violations specifies administrative accountability for mass distribution of extremist materials that are on the published Federal List of Extremist Materials as well as for the production or storage of such materials for the purpose of mass distribution.

Enforceable judicial rulings found the following guilty of committing the administrative violation specified in that article:

  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Nizhniy Tagil’ (18 July 2016 ruling of the Tagilstroyevskiy District Court of the City of Nizhniy Tagil, Sverdlovsk Region);
  • The Chairman of the Committee of the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Kirov (28 July 2016 ruling of the Oktyabrskiy District Court of the City of Kirov);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Budennovsk, (12 October 2016 ruling of the Budennovsk City Court, Stavropol Territory);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Kostomuksha’, (7 October 2016 ruling of the Kostomuksha City Court of the Republic of Karelia);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Petrozavodsk’, (6 October 2016 ruling of the Petrozavodsk City Court of the Republic of Karelia);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the City of Chapayevsk, (17 November 2016 ruling of the Chapayevsk City Court of the Samara Region);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the City of Mayskiy (9 November 2016 ruling of the Mayskiy District Court of the Republic of KabardinoBalkaria);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Saransk’ (8 December 2016 ruling of the judge of the Leninskiy District Court of the City of Saransk of the Republic of Mordovia);
  • Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Gelendzhik’, (20 January 2017 ruling of the judge of the Gelendzhik City Court of the Krasnodar Territory).

Moreover, on 11 March 2016 the Voronezh Regional Prosecutor’s Office issued to the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Tsentralnaya, Voronezh’, as represented by the director, a warning that extremist activity is prohibited (volume 44 case papers 87–89).

On 17 March 2016 the Murmansk Prosecutor’s Office for Supervision Over Compliance with Laws for Especially Secure Facilities issued to the chairman of the committee of the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Snezhnogorsk’ Warning No 8-118v-16 that extremist activity is prohibited and measures must be taken to prevent distribution of extremist materials (volume 44, case papers 90–92).

On 14 April 2016 the Stavropol City Prosecutor’s Office issued to the Local Religious Organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia ‘Tsentralnaya, City of Stavropol’ a warning that extremist activity is prohibited (volume 44, case papers 102–104).

Under Article 9(2) and (3) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, in cases stipulated by Article 7(4) of said federal law, or in cases where public or religious associations, other organisations, or their regional or other structural subdivisions carry out extremist activity resulting in the violation of human and civil rights and freedoms, the infliction of damage to the person and health of citizens, the environment, public order, public security, property, the lawful economic interests of natural persons and/or legal entities, to society or the State, or posing a real threat of inflicting such damage, the respective public or religious association or other organisation may be liquidated, and the activity of the respective public or religious association that is not a legal entity may be banned by a court decision on the basis of an application by the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation or the respective prosecutor subordinate to him or a federal agency of State registration or by its corresponding territorial agency.

In accordance with Article 55(3) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 22(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 11(2) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, any restriction on the rights and freedoms of citizens and their associations must be based on federal law, pursue a socially significant goal (protection of the fundamentals of the constitutional system, morals, health, the rights and lawful interests of man and citizen, defense of the country, security of the state and public order), be necessary in a democratic society (appropriate, adequate and proportionate to the socially significant aim pursued).

Liquidation of a religious organisation is a measure of public-legal accountability pursuant to an application by an authorized agency or official in administrative court proceedings (point 1 of RF Supreme Court Plenum Resolution No 64 dated 27 December 2016 on Certain Questions Arising During Courts’ Consideration of Cases on Suspension of Activity or Liquidation of Non-Commercial Organisations and on Banning the Activity of Public or Religious Associations That Are Not Legal Entities).

Under the aforementioned circumstances, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, recognizing the validity of the demand to liquidate the centralized religious organisation on the grounds specified in the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, believes that application of such an exceptional measure does not constitute arbitrary interference with or unlawful restriction on citizens’ rights to association or freedom of worship.

As evident from the case materials, every year for the past seven years facts of extremist activity carried out by the Organisation, including by its structural subdivisions, have been established in the manner prescribed by law.

The measures aimed at counteracting extremist activity that have been taken and that were noted in this decision, including the many prosecutorial measures (volume 1, case papers 135–138, volume 43, case papers 230–250, volume 44, case papers 1–131), the unscheduled inspection of the activity of the administrative defendant, as well as the organisational arrangements made by the Organisation itself, which were cited by the administrative defendant in the objections, did not result in an end to the activity manifesting signs of extremism, therefore, granting the administrative claim to liquidate the Organisation is the only means of putting a stop to the activity.

The grounds for such interference are established by federal law; the interference pursues a socially significant aim defined by law — counteracting extremist activity, and, accordingly, protecting the rights and lawful interests of man and citizen and ensuring the security of the state and public order.

Despite the arguments in the Organisation’s objections, such interference is proportionate and necessary in a democratic state ruled by law, since ensuring the elimination of violations of rights, freedoms and lawful interests of the general public, and elimination of a real threat of harm to the person and health of citizens, public order, public security, society and the state was the only means of ensuring a balance of the rights and lawful interests of participants in legal relations in the public-legal domain.

The preventive measures provided for by the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity have been exhausted; the federal law does not provide a less severe sanction for carrying out extremist activity, including for incitement of social, racial, national or religious discord; advocacy of the exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of a person based on his social, racial, national or religious affiliation or his language or attitude toward religion; the mass distribution of materials known to be extremist, or their storage for the purpose of mass distribution; organisation, preparation and incitement of said actions; financing of the actions indicated above or otherwise assisting in their organisation, preparation and execution, including by means of educational, printing, or material and technical resources, telephones and other forms of communication, or informational services.

The liquidation of individual local religious organisations that are part of the structure of the Organisation, which provides overall direction, did not halt the extremist activity by the Organisation’s other structural subdivisions. Moreover, when defending its rights the Organisation, as seen from the written objections, essentially justifies all such actions, considering them not to be extremist.

Granting the administrative claim for liquidation meets the demands of Articles 9–11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which permits legal restrictions on the right to freedom of association in the interests of national security and public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The provisions of Articles 18, 19 and 29(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also do not preclude prohibiting by law any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, if it is necessary for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

As the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation stated, the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism (ratified on 15 June 2001) does not prevent state-parties from giving a broader interpretation of extremism in their legal provisions and obligates them to adopt such measures as may be necessary, including, where appropriate, with regard to national legislation, to ensure that terrorism, separatism or extremism are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a solely political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature and that they incurred punishment proportionate to their gravity (Article 1(2) and Article 3). PACE Resolution 1344 (2003) ‘Threat posed to democracy by extremist parties and movements in Europe’ also draws attention to the need for states to provide in their legislation that the exercise of freedom of expression, assembly and association can be limited for the purpose of fighting extremism. (Ruling dated 2 July 2013 No 1053-O).

The state, in safeguarding the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of man and citizen, public order and public safety and in discovering activity recognize to be extremist, is not obligated to await a ‘negative cumulative effect’, when the number of violations having signs of extremism take on a different nature, and their consequences no longer constitute a threat of violating some rights or causing harm, but constitute direct harm to a person, the health of citizens, the environment, public order, public safety, property, the lawful economic interests of natural and/or legal entities, society and the state.

A different position is not only inconsistent with the intent of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, but also fails to meet the socially significant aim of counteracting extremist activity, which inter alia is intended to make it possible to prevent real harm and, accordingly, the more severe consequences of such prohibited activity.

If a court renders a decision to liquidate a public or religious association on the grounds stipulated by the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, its regional and other structural subdivisions shall also be liquidated (Article 9(4)).

The arguments in the objections, that local religious organisations are not structural subdivisions and therefore are not subject to liquidation, are based on an incorrect interpretation of norms of law.

In harmony with legislation of the Russian Federation (including Articles 12326 and 12327 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation) any centralized religious organisation is an association of three or more local religious organisations and, when separate orders are issued to it by administrative authorities in the sphere of public-legal regulation, it acts as a single entity in the legal relationship that arises.

For example, according to point 3.4 of the Organisation’s charter ‘religious associations that enter into the Center’s structure, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are under the protection of the Center in all regions of Russia when carrying out their religious activity and dissemination of faith (missionary activity)’.

Without local religious organisations that must be part of its structure (in contrast with religious groups, which are not obligated to be part of the structure), such a religious association cannot have the corresponding civil-legal status and carry out activity as a centralized religious organisation.

The Organisation’s Presiding Committee is an administrative (coordinating) agency created by this association, and not the centralized religious organisation itself; it directs and represents the structure in relations with the state and other subjects in the public-legal sphere.

When clarifying the legal grounds for liquidating public and religious associations or other organisations in the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, the federal legislator precisely defined the subject against which a decision on liquidation may be taken. In this administrative case, that subject is the centralized religious organisation, not the agencies defined in its charter. Consequently, not only the administrative agencies, but the entire structure of such a religious organisation is subject to liquidation.

Liquidation of the centralized religious organisation in essence precludes the possibility of preserving the current status of local religious organisations that are part of its structure, which — as is evident from the law, the Organisation’s charter and charters of local religious organisations submitted in court — were created primarily as separate subdivisions (parts) of the unified structure of the Organisation.

According to the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, a religious organisation shall carry out its activity on the basis of a charter that was adopted by its founders or by the centralized religious organisation; the charter of a religious organisation shall include its denomination, and the name of the centralized religious organisation, if it belongs to one (Article 10(1) and (2)); for state registration a local religious organisation must have a document verifying that the local religious organisation is part of the structure of the centralized religious organisation of the same denomination, issued by the governing agency (center) of the centralized religious organisation if the local religious organisation is part of the structure of the centralized religious organisation (paragraph 6 of Article 11(5)).

According to point 3.3 of the Organisation’s charter, ‘the charters of religious organizations that enter into the Center’s structure are ratified by the Center in the procedure established by the Center’s Presiding Committee. Entrance into the Center’s structure is certified by a document issued by the Center’.

Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Presiding Committee covers ‘establishing the procedure for issuing documents confirming the entrance of a religious association into the Center’s structure, ratification of the charter, changes and additions to the charter of a religious organization entering into the Center’s structure, appointing and terminating the powers of members of its continually operating administrative organ, realization of relations with religious associations that enter into the Center’s structure’ (point 3.8 of the charter).

The concept ‘regional and other structural subdivisions’ used in said legal provisions encompasses any agencies, organisations or associations that make up the unified structure of a liquidated public or religious association or other organisations.

Based on the constitutional principles of equality and justice (Articles 17(3), 19 and 55 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation), the provisions in Articles 7 and 9 of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity apply equally to all public and religious associations and other organisations, the structure of which might vary, as specified, for example, in Federal Laws on Public Associations, on Political Parties, on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations, and on Nonprofit Organisations.

The fact that the Federal Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations and Articles 12326 and 12327 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, which define the civil-law status of religious organisations, do not contain a definition of a structural subdivision, and the fact that the term is not used in the Organisation’s Charter when describing its structure, do not mean that these circumstances give rise to a different (selective) interpretation of norms of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity dependent on the organisational-legal form — with corresponding differences in structure — of the religious organisation to be liquidated.

The fact that every local religious organisation was registered as a legal entity in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law is not a reason for interpreting the applicable statute differently, because current legislation not only does not prohibit, but actually permits regional and other structural subdivisions of various associations to have rights as legal entities (for example, Articles 10 and 21(10) of the Federal Law on Public Associations dated 19 May 1995 No 82-FZ and Article 15(8) of the Federal Law on Political Parties dated 11 July 2001 No 95-FZ).

When an authorized official or agency files demands for liquidation of a centralized religious organisation, in relevant public-law relations that centralized organisation represents the entire structure it has created, including its local religious organisations, for whose activity, collectively or individually, it can bear accountability under Articles 7 and 9 of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity.

In this case, the liquidation of local religious organisations as subdivisions of the Organisation is a legal consequence interconnected with the centralized religious organisation’s accountability, prescribed by federal law.

The argument in the Organisation’s objections that its constitutional right to freedom of association has been violated must be rejected. Holding a religious organisation accountable for engaging in extremist activity cannot be viewed as a violation of the constitutional right to association.

Legal equality before the law and the court (Article 19 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation) precludes taking different approaches to application of the grounds for accountability specified by law for extremist activity by a public or religious association or other organisation or their regional or other structural subdivision.

These grounds must be applied regardless of testimonials, the reputation or other qualities of that association (organisation); awards (certificates, letters of appreciation, etc.) do not prevent its liquidation if signs of extremism were established in its activity.

The argument in the administrative defendant’s objections that facts of engaging in extremist activity were not proven must be rejected. Those assertions are based on an incorrect interpretation of norms of law.

Pursuant to Article 7(4) and Article 9(1)-Article 9(4) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, grounds for liquidation of any association include not only facts concerning the activity of its administrative or coordinating agency, but also facts of improper acts by at least one of its regional or other structural subdivisions.

As noted above, such facts were established by enforceable court decisions in civil and administrative cases and rulings of judges in administrative violation cases.

While not having preclusive effect under Article 64 of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure of the Russian Federation because the Organisation did not participate in the consideration of those cases, these enforceable judicial rulings — due to their binding nature established in Article 6 of the Federal Constitutional Law on the Judicial System of the Russian Federation dated 31 December 1996 No 1-FKZ — are relevant and admissible evidence of facts of extremist activity engaged in by the persons listed in those rulings.

The testimony of the witnesses for the administrative defendant who were questioned in court, witnesses V. M. Zavyalov, V. M. Kantare, T. L. Kremneva and Ye. N. Skladchikov, does not refute established facts that structural subdivisions of the Organisation engaged in extremist activity, which included coordinating the activity of organised religious groups concerning which the Organisation does not keep records.

The administrative defendant’s statement that the Organisation is not the author, publisher or right-holder of the informational materials and websites cited by the administrative claimant also does not constitute grounds for releasing it from accountability. Printed religious books and brochures that are on the Federal List of Extremist Materials were imported and shipped into the Russian Federation by the Organisation directly, to thereafter be mass distributed, including illegally, or stored for such purpose. According to the submitted texts of judicial rulings, individual extremist materials that were distributed and confiscated directed the reader to the site http://www.jw.org for more information, which site is on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Article 12(1) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, however, bans the use of public communications networks for carrying out extremist activity.

According to the evidence submitted in the administrative case, any activity of local religious organisations as part of a single structure is carried out under the direct guidance and control of the Organisation.

The fact that the administrative defendant does not agree with the appraisal made of certain informational and other materials that were declared extremist, pointing to other expert opinions with other findings, does not refute facts of extremist activity established in court or the fact that specific materials were declared extremist. Not one of the materials listed in the objections, including the print publications, was removed from the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

The organisational measures listed by the administrative defendant in the objections — studying the Federal List of Extremist Materials, informing believers and local religious organisations about the list and about court decisions to declare certain materials extremist, creating a special commission, appealing the actions and decisions of various agencies and officials, and making a public statement on 24 February 2017 that it is not complicit to incidents of extremist activity — cannot serve as legal grounds to deny the administrative claim.

Since the decision is to liquidate the Organisation on the grounds specified in the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, for engaging in extremist activity, the Religious Organisation Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, including all local religious organisations that are part of its structure, is declared an extremist organisation on the date this court decision enters into legal force (Article 1(2) of the aforementioned federal law).

A legal consequence of a centralized religious organisation being declared extremist is a ban on its activity in the Russian Federation.

According to the Federal Law on State Registration of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs dated 8 August 2001 No 129-FZ, removal of a legal entity from the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities is part of the state registration procedure when a legal entity is liquidated and is carried out by the appropriate registration agency according to the location of the liquidated legal entity by making a corresponding note in the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities (Article 22(1), (6) and (7)). Once that note has been made, liquidation of the legal entity is considered complete, and the legal entity is considered as having ceased its activity.

On the basis of Article 9(5) of the Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, once creditors’ demands have been satisfied, the remaining property of the liquidated religious organisation shall be turned over to ownership by the Russian Federation.

Under Article 264(3) of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure of the Russian Federation, the court decision granting the administrative claim to liquidate the Organisation shall be immediately enforceable in the part regarding termination of its activity and the activity of local religious organisations that are part of its structure.

Guided by Articles 175-180 and 264 of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

DECIDED

To grant the administrative statement of claim filed by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. To liquidate the Religious Organisation Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and the local religious organisations that are part of its structure.

To turn over to the Russian Federation the property of the liquidated religious organisation remaining once creditors’ demands have been satisfied.

The court’s decision granting the administrative claim for liquidation of the Religious Organisation Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia shall be immediately enforceable in the part concerning termination of the activity of the Religious Organisation Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and of the local religious organisations that are part of its structure.

This decision can be appealed to the Appellate Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation within one month from when it is adopted in its final form.

Judge of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Yu. G. Ivanenko