“Ban” of Scientology? The European Court of Human Rights rules otherwise…

Russia’s ban on the Church of Scientology is illegal, the European Court of Human Rights said Thursday in a binding ruling.

The court said Russia cannot ban the Church of Scientology just because it has not been in the country for long and awarded each of the groups euro5,000 ($7,270) in damages. The groups together also received euro10,000 ($14,500) for costs, which they shared.

The case was brought to the Strasbourg-based court by two Russian Scientology branches that were refused listing as “religious organizations” because they have not existed for at least 15 years as required by Russia’s Religions Act. (Source: Associated Press)

Ban stupidity and arrogance from government’s ranks, I say.

– L

5 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t call it that, certainly! It really seems to me that scientology is rarely, if ever welcome, as more people become aware of the concerns.

    Which actually brings me to my question, concerning the perception of the “average” scientologist. When it happens that a Country fights so hard to keep scientology away, and scientology forces their way in through lawsuits or technicalities, do they consider it to be a victory?

    And surely you will be tempted to answer to the tune of “yes, we love justice and consider it a victory when it’s served”, or something similar, but that’s not an answer that addresses the question. The question is regarding the wishes of the country itself.

  2. “And the court forces them to do that now”

    Exactly- Russia had to be forced to recognize scientology. Just like the US, when the IRS was facing 2,500 lawsuits. Neither country WANTED scientology, but they were forced by law to accept it. That’s a victory?

  3. Sorry, Mark, but you miss the boat on this one.

    The court decided that the the Russian Government was in violation with their own laws as well as the European Human Rights Convention when refusing to register the Church as a religious organization. And the court forces them to do that now, additional to pay damages for their violation of basic human rights.

    This is the second case Russia lost on the same grounds. The first one was in May 2007:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology_Moscow_v._Russia

    The October 2009 decision “decision determines that members of the Church of Scientology of Surgut and the Church of Scientology of Nizhnekamsk have the right to religious freedom and freedom of association pursuant to Articles 9 and 11 of the European Human Rights Convention.”

    Article 9: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
    Article 11: Freedom of Assembly
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights

    – Louanne

  4. Just to be specific, before we go maligning any Russians (they’re big guys, the one’s I’ve met- want to keep in their good graces, lol)

    What the court actually found was “they were denied registration as a religious organisation, not because of any shortcoming on their part or of any specific feature of their religious creed, but rather as a result of the automatic application of a legal provision, the “15-year rule” contained in section 9 § 1 of the Religions Act. The ground for refusing registration had therefore been purely formal and unconnected with their actual functioning.”

    It was the application of existing law that happened to affect the applicants. Russia was merely enforcing the laws that were on their books, as one would expect them to do until they are changed, as in this case.

  5. This isn’t actually much of a victory. Put it in context- a Country government wanted scientology to stay out, they were just prevented from doing so on appeal. Scientology is in Russia due to a legal loophole- not because Russia wants them there- and only because scientology sued.


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