A ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses is to come into full force in Russia after a court dismissed an appeal against the group’s classification as an “extremist” organization.

The British and American governments were among those raising human rights concerns over the prohibition, which will liquidate the group’s administrative center near St Petersburg and 395 local religious organizations.

Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the ruling on Monday, having previously decided in favor of the justice ministry’s characterization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an “extremist organization” whose members “pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security”.

Judges ordered the closure of the group's Russian headquarters, local chapters and the seizure of its property by the state.


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