MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Michael Georg Link expressed concern on Tuesday over the Russian Supreme Court's decision to ban the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organization.
"I’m deeply concerned by this unwarranted criminalization of the peaceful activities of members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses communities in Russia, eliminating this community as a viable entity in the country. This Supreme Court decision poses a threat to the values and principles that democratic, free, open, pluralistic and tolerant societies rest upon," Link said, as quoted in the ODIHR statement.
On Thursday, Russia's Supreme Court ruled that the activities of the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia were extremist and banned them.
Judge Yury Ivanenko said the court also ruled to seize the center's property.