Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Moscow court resumes hearings on dissolution of Moscow COS (Nov. 3, 2015)

Moscow court resumes hearings on Justice Ministry's request to dissolve Church of Scientology of Moscow

The Moscow city court today resumes hearings on the Justice Ministry’s request to dissolve the "Church of Scientology of Moscow" religious organization.

In late October 2014, the Moscow city court adjourned its proceedings concerning the dissolution of the organization until the conclusion of a case which, at the time, the defendants had initiated in a district court.

On July 1, 2015, the Izmailovo district court in Moscow rejected a complaint filed by representatives of the "Church of Scientology of Moscow" regarding the Justice Ministry's refusal to register the organization's charter.

As reported earlier, in 2013 a Justice Ministry review concluded that the organization's charter does not comply with the federal "Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations" and that the organization’s name does not validly identify the organization’s legal form and denomination.

The review also found that the word "Scientology" is registered as a trademark owned by the Religious Technology Center (USA). The use of this word as the name of a religious denomination contravenes article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

This review of the activity of the "Church of Scientology of Moscow" led to an examination by state experts on religion and, as a result, the "Church of Scientology Moscow" was not recognized as a religious organization.

In mid-August 2015, authorities searched the Scientology premises on Taganskaya Street in Moscow and seized "spying" equipment — illegally installed audio-video monitoring devices consisting of microphones and cameras that belong to the category of special technical equipment designed for the covert collection of information.

The official representative of the Investigative Committee, Yulia Ivanova, stated that, based on the results of the searches by the investigating authorities, a criminal case was launched concerning the illegal trafficking of special technical equipment (article 138.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

In 2007, the St. Petersburg city court sided with the prosecutor’s office and decided to dissolve the "Scientology Center," which, among other things, was charged with illegally collecting information about people’s private life.

Scientology is a religious and philosophical movement that arose in the US in the middle of the last century. Its founder is considered to be the American science fiction writer Lafayette Ron Hubbard, who created a system of beliefs and practices compiled from various pseudo-scientific and religious ideas and catering to persons who strive for success.

Critics say that Hubbard called Scientology a religion and sought to have it recognized as such to gain tax exemptions.

Moscow court resumes hearings on dissolution of Moscow COS (Nov. 3, 2015)

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