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RUSSIA: Prosecutor’s Office deems four more religious groups as ‘Undesirable’

Prosecutor’s Office deems four more religious groups as ‘Undesirable’

Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty ( 23.08.2021)  – https://bit.ly/3kmp03G –  Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office has deemed four evangelical groups from Latvia and Ukraine as “undesirable,” saying they pose a threat to constitutional order and the country’s security.

“Following the examination of materials filed in the Prosecutor-General’s Office, a decision was made to deem undesirable the following nongovernmental organizations: the New Generation International Christian Movement (Latvia), the New Generation Evangelical Christian Church (Latvia), the New Generation Spiritual Directorate of the Evangelist Christians (Ukraine), and the New Generation International Biblical College spiritual educational facility (Ukraine),” the office said in a statement on August 23.

The ruling effectively bans the organizations, none of which immediately commented.

Dozens of foreign nongovernmental organizations have been deemed “undesirable” in Russia in recent months.

The “undesirable” organization law, adopted in May 2015 and since updated, was part of a series of regulations pushed by the Kremlin that squeezed many nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations that received funding from foreign sources – mainly from Europe and the United States.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that expands the scope of the “undesirable” law to include criminalizing participation in the activities of foreign nongovernmental organizations designated as such in Russia.

Photo : The Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office announced the decision on August 23

Further reading about FORB in Russia on HRWF website





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RUSSIA: Siberian Court orders Falun Gong movement banned

Siberian Court orders Falun Gong movement banned

 

By Siberia Realities

 

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (11.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/3edOX3m – A Siberian regional court has banned Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement that China’s Communist Party has sought to stamp out since the late 1990s.

The ruling, by an appeals court in the city of Novosibirsk, was the latest in a number of court cases that have targeted not only Falun Gong, but other religious and spiritual organizations under Russia’s strict extremism laws.

In July, the Supreme Court in the region of Khakasia, east of Novosibirsk, rejected local prosecutors’ request to classify the Chinese movement as extremist, something that effectively shuts down an organization.

But on November 10, the Novosibirsk appeals court overruled the local court’s decision.

A representative of the organization, Oskana Shchyotkina, told RFE/RL that between 2014 and 2019, one of the movement’s members was fined and another one was jailed for three days for distributing a book containing the movement’s teachings.

She said the two cases were used by prosecutors to file a request to classify the group as extremist.

“We consider the case fabricated and, of course, we will appeal the ruling, which will not affect activities of the movement’s other branches [in Russia],” she said.

It’s unclear what sort of legal consequences the Siberian court ruling will have beyond the region.

Since the 2016 passage of a measure known informally as Yarovaya’s Law, Russian authorities have stepped up investigation and prosecution of some smaller religious groups.

Among those targeted most aggressively are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a denomination that was labeled an extremist group in 2017. Prosecutors have arrested and tried dozens of members since then.

Established in the early 1990s, Falun Gong is a spiritual teaching that combines meditation and traditional Chinese gymnastics with a moral philosophy.

The group, which has been dogged by accusations from former practitioners of a harsh, cult-like belief system, has been aggressively persecuted by the Chinese authorities. The group’s world headquarters is currently in a town in upstate New York.

 

Photo: Members of Falun Gong hold slogans reading “Secede from the Communist Party” during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, in 2009. AP

Further reading on FORB in Russia on HRWF website


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