07MOSCOW1079, RUSSIAN IMPLEMENTATION OF ECHR JUDGMENTS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1079 2007-03-14 07:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4627
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1079 0730700
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 140700Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8221
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001079 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2017 
TAGS: PHUM KJUS KIRF PGOV RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN IMPLEMENTATION OF ECHR JUDGMENTS ON 
SALVATION ARMY AND JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES 
 
Classified By: DCM Daniel Russell: Reason 1.4(d) 
 
 1. (U) SUMMARY. In early March, Russia notified the 
Salvation Army that it accepts the ECHR judgment and will pay 
the monetary damages awarded.  The GOR remains within the 
90-day appeal period of the ECHR ruling in favor of the 
Jehovah's Witnesses, and will likely adhere to its practice 
of accepting narrow judgments. These cases involved only one 
of the Salvation Army's 10 local branches registered in 
Russia, and only one of the Jehovah's Witnesses 408 local 
registered branches.  END SUMMARY. 
 
-------------- 
Salvation Army 
-------------- 
 
2. (U) On October 5, 2006, the European Court of Human Rights 
(ECHR) ruled in favor of the Salvation Army and awarded 
monetary damages in the case of "Moscow Branch of the 
Salvation Army v. Russia" (application 72881/01). In 1999, 
the City of Moscow had refused to register the local branch 
of the Salvation Army because of technicalities stemming from 
their status as a branch of a foreign organization.  The 
Russian Ministry of Justice later had charged that the 
Salvation Army was a "paramilitary organization," which are 
banned in Russia.  The ECHR ruled that the government had 
violated the members' freedom of assembly and association 
(Article 11). 
 
3. (C) The GOR in early March informed the Salvation Army 
that it will pay the 10,000 Euro damages .  Alistair Herring 
of the Moscow Branch of the Salvation Army told us that they 
were pleased with this outcome and they consider this to be 
notification of acceptance and compliance by the GOR. 
Herring said that the Salvation Army will now again attempt 
to register the organization in Moscow.  If the Salvation 
Army is again denied, it will take this case to court with 
the ECHR judgment as part of its legal argument. The 
Salvation Army has registered 10 other local branches 
throughout Russia. 
 
------------------- 
Jehovah's Witnesses 
------------------- 
 
4. (U) On January 11, the ECHR ruled unanimously in favor of 
the Jehovah's Witnesses in Chelyabinsk (Kuznetsov and Others 
v. Russia, application no. 184/02), awarding monetary damages 
of 90,5444 euros.  In April 2000, local authorities, led by 
the chairwoman of the Regional Human Rights Commission, had 
disrupted and dispersed a JW meeting in Chelyabinsk.  The JW 
lodged a criminal complaint against the commissioner, but the 
courts refused to hear the case "because the applicants had 
failed to show a causal link between the Commissioner and 
Police arrival and the early termination of their meeting." 
The JW then sued the Russian Federation at the European Court 
of Human Rights alleging, inter alia, that the government had 
violated their freedom of religion (Article 9) and their 
right to a fair hearing (Article 6).  The Russian Federation 
has until April 11 to accept or appeal the verdict. 
 
5. (C) The JW organization in Chelyabinsk is one of 408 local 
JW organizations registered in Russia.  JW representatives 
told us that their national administrative center in St. 
Petersburg faces continued legal pressure, but said that this 
was from local officials, not from the federal government or 
its policies. 
 
6. (U) Prominent Russian human rights attorney Galina Krylova 
told us that Russia generally complies with the ECHR's narrow 
rulings and financial awards, albeit often with delays. 
Based on past practice, the GOR will likely comply with the 
Jehovah's Witnesses court decision for monetary damages. 
BURNS

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