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Russian Court Ban on Jehovah’s Witness Website Overturned

In August 2013, the Tsentralniy District Court of the Russian city of Tver, about 100 miles north of Moscow, ordered that the Jehovah’s Witnesses www.jw.org website be banned throughout the entire Russian federation. This website, which is produced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, is used by over 160,000 individuals regularly in Russia, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses sources, who also indicated that they were neither notified nor consulted about its banning.

On 22 January 2014, Tver Regional Court granted an appeal by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. against a ban on the website. “The [original] judicial panel did not establish legal grounds for deeming the site extremist material”, a court official told Rossiiskaya Gazeta on 23 January.

Sources:

“Russian Officials Seek Court Ruling to Ban Popular Bible-Education Website,” jw.org, January 21, 2014, http://www.jw.org/en/news/by-region/europe/russia/attempt-to-ban-website/.

Victoria Arnold and Geraldine Fagan, “Russia: Two ‘extremism’ bans overturned – but bans, fines continue,” Forum 18 News Service (Oslo, Norway), January 27, 2014, http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1920.

Student Researcher: Jennifer Gutierrez (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluator:  Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)

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