Posts Tagged law

Yet Another Bad Day For Scientology: Banned In Russia

In the latest thrilling instalment of a series I like to call ‘Scientology Lolz’, I’d like to take you to Russia, and to a report from the Moscow Times:

“Works by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard will be added to the country’s list of extremist literature for “undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday. The ruling is the latest use of the hotly debated law on extremism to target systems of belief that are not traditional in Russia.” – Source: The Moscow Times

The laws have been pretty controversial over in Russia since their introduction back in 2002, originally to try and curtain the rise in violence against ethnic groups and foreign citizens. However, much like similar anti-terrorism laws here in the UK, the boundaries of what counts as ‘extremist’ or ‘terrorist’ behaviour have proven to be so blurry that lawful citizens have been falling foul of them. Still, we’re not talking about everyday lawful citizens here, we’re talking about scientologists… whom the Russia court have effectively seen fit to ban. As the paper goes on to report:

“Prosecutors said they intercepted 28 individual titles, including books, audio and video recordings by Hubbard that were sent to residents in Surgut from the United States. The materials were sent for study to “psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists,” who determined that they should not be distributed in Russia, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.”

Individuals in possession of extremist materials can be jailed for up to 15 days or fined 3,000 rubles (which is round about £80 or so).

The ruling of scientology literature as illegal comes in response to a court case last year whereby the cult won the right to be called a religion in Russia, after an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. So it looks like something of a canny move from the law makers who seem intent on keeping the space-cult out of the minds of Russian citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

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