Montreal Gazette - - WORLD -

Rus­sia’s Supreme Court on Thurs­day banned Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses from op­er­at­ing any­where in the coun­try, ac­cept­ing a re­quest from the jus­tice min­istry that the re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion be con­sid­ered an ex­trem­ist group.

The court or­dered the clo­sure of the group’s Rus­sian head­quar­ters and its 395 lo­cal chap­ters, as well as the seizure of its prop­erty. The In­ter­fax news agency on Thurs­day quoted Jus­tice Min­istry at­tor­ney Svet­lana Borisova in court as say­ing that Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses pose a threat to Rus­sians. Borisova also said Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses’ op­po­si­tion to blood trans­fu­sions vi­o­lates Rus­sian health care laws.

A spokesman for Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses in Rus­sia said they are “greatly dis­ap­pointed and plan to ap­peal the rul­ing.

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