Court about Scientology in Russia: Not Extremist

Another piece of oppression went down the drain today:

Surgut city court ruling that Scientology materials are extremist overturned

October 12, 2010

On October 12, the Khanty-Mansi district court overturned the decision of the Surgut city court, which ruled as extremist works of L. Ron Hubbard containing the basics of the teachings of the Church of Scientology.

The March 26, 2010 decision of the Surgut city court was made behind closed doors. No one representing the Scientologists was allowed into the process. The prosecutor, and then the judge, decided that the fundamentals of the doctrine of the Church of Scientology are extremist. The prosecutor later acknowledged in an interview that he did not read the materials and relied on expert analysis. An expert was recommended by Galina Vydrina, an adviser to the governor of Khanty-Mansi who has long been fighting against non-traditional religions. The expert was anti-cult specialist Evgeny Volkov, who, instead of answering the court’s questions, summarized his “scientific” theories without even browsing through half of the materials submitted for analysis. The court as well did not familiarize itself with the materials by Ron Hubbard. The entire judicial process lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Believers in the local community (whose representative is Alexander Ilyin) feel that this decision was taken in retaliation for the recognition by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that local authorities had violated the rights of Surgut Scientologists to freedom of conscience.

Despite the fact that the decision of the Surgut city court had not yet taken effect legally, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation illegally added these materials to the list of extremist materials. Since the publication of this list, law enforcement agencies have been on the hunt for these materials across the country from Blagoveshchensk to Krasnodar, conducting searches and raids, unsealing materials at customs, calling citizens to administrative proceedings.

“The Surgut decision is a disgrace to the judicial system. As a citizen of the Russian Federation and as a lawyer, I’m glad it has been overturned. Even though it would have been excellent grounds for an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, I believe that the ability of the court of appeal to make decisions independently of religious preferences and of the political situation bears witness to the triumph not only of law but of common sense,” said lawyer Galina Krylova.

The head of the chief Scientology Center in Russia, Natalia Dvoryadkin, explained that the works of R. Hubbard have for over 50 years been distributed worldwide in 165 countries. The total circulation of the published materials today exceeds 81 million copies. For more information about the Scientology religion visit the sites www.scientology.ru, www.scientology-moscow.ru, www.scientologyfacts.ru.

(Yes,this is a Google translation… here is the original: http://portal-credo.ru/site/?act=news&id=80189&cf=)

5 Comments

  1. […] their mind about a major intrusion in Freedom of Speech. Not voluntarily though, it took several court cases to wake them up to the fact that letters don’t […]

  2. […] Scientology Myths Forum Tags: about, Court, Extremist, Russia, Scientology […]

  3. That’s right, Andrew. As long as the actions of the group are legal, ethical and non-harmful, the ability to decide for oneself should be celebrated.
    If course, I would only caveat that the legal decision of the higher court does not equal the will of the people. But it does give people the right to determine their will for themselves!

  4. Freedom to practise the religion of one’s own choice and and freedom of belief is a personal decision. Well done to the Khanty-Mansi district court for overturning the decision of the Surgut city court. It says something for the judicial system in Russia which in this instance is to be commended!

  5. And as the wwp posters echo, it was the right decision! Banning books and suppressing ideas is never the right answer, no matter the question of the validity. Let people decide for themselves, I say.


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