Monday, June 27, 2022

European Court Finds Russia Guilty of Multiple and Massive Violations of Rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 7 – By a vote of six to one, the European Court for Human Rights found the Russian government guilty of multiple and massive violations of the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses; and by a vote of four to three it ordered Moscow to release Witnesses now in jail and end all criminal cases against them.

            Because Russia has been expelled from European institutions because of its invasion of Ukraine and because Moscow says it is no longer subject to international law, many may see this as of little importance, but in its decision, the ECHR addressed that and said that the ruling holds because the case involved actions before either of those actions occurred.

            As such, it is the most sweeping finding of an international court against Russia concerning its abuse of the rights of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; and it represents a rare instance in which the ECHR has not only reached a conclusion but directed the government in question to take steps affecting all those in a category rather than just about those who brought the case.

            The Court’s ruling is at

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