Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Retroactive Application of "Extremist" Law Charges...

Well not only are the Russian authorities REFUSING to back down... now they're actually going so far as to accumulate RETROACTIVE charges!

Retroactive Application of Law Results in Criminal Case

For Immediate Release
September 20, 2010

GORNO-ALTAYSK, Russia—On September 9, 2010, Aleksandr Kalistratov, chairman of the Local Religious Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Gorno-Altaysk, was formally served with an indictment for inciting religious hatred because he gave two internationally distributed religious magazines to a person who asked for them.

On January 12, 2009, an employee of a transport company delivering the latest editions of the Watchtower, and Awake! magazines asked Kalistratov for a copy of each issue, which the employee turned over to Assistant Prosecutor Vladimir Bedarev. Bedarev then initiated a criminal case against Kalistratov under Article 282 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (for incitement to hatred). A conviction carries a potential sentence of imprisonment for two years.

This action was taken although those issues of the magazines were not labeled as “extremist” at the time. It was not until two weeks later, on January 27, 2009, that those two issues, along with 16 other religious publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses, were declared “extremist materials” by the Supreme Court of the Altay Republic. There is no evidence that, since the January 27 decision, Kalistratov has distributed any publications that have been deemed by a court to be extremist.

An application to overturn the decision of the republic’s Supreme Court has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

This is absolutely hilarious coming from the country whose government has systematically destroyed the lives of thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses for the past century, and has gone to every "extremist" method possible to spy on them, obstruct their worship, break up their families, confiscate their belongings, deny them suitable healthcare and employment, and incite hatred against them and their religion throughout the entire country of Russia by producing massive propaganda campaigns, full of complete lies and slander against them.
So where are all the RETROACTIVE damage charges against the government in behalf of the people who they persecuted and imprisoned for so long?