The European Court of Human Rights “has issued a historic ruling against Russia in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The ECHR declared, 6 to 1, that it was illegal for Russia to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses. The court also held that it was illegal to ban their publications, periodicals and the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He therefore ordered Russia to stop all pending criminal proceedings against Jehovah’s Witnesses, to release all those in prison, as well as to return all confiscated property or pay adequate compensation ”. This was reported by the Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves according to which Russia was ordered to pay the applicants a total of 59,617,458 euros “for material damage, mainly seized assets” and 3,447,250 euros “in relation to non-pecuniary damage”.
Jarrod Lopes, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, says: “Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are pleased with the comprehensive judgment against Russia. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Jehovah’s Witnesses are law-abiding citizens who, due to religious discrimination, are illegally persecuted and imprisoned in Russia. We hope that Russia respects the indications of the Court – the spokesman continues – and stops the persecution at the national level and releases all 91 Witnesses in prison. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia await the opportunity to practice their faith freely in their homeland, as do millions of fellow believers in over two hundred other countries ”.