Warsaw, Poland • Oral presentation at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Meeting of 2017, Working Session 6. From the Church of Scientology Human Rights and Public Affairs Office, Mr. Ivan Arjona delivered a statement: “Regarding Discrimination on Scientology and Others in the Russian Federation,” presented in full below.
As Director of the European Office of Human Rights for the Church of Scientology, I would like to commend countries like Spain, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Italy and Holland for their advancements every year on the fight for religious freedom, and I call upon all of them and the rest of the member states of the OSCE for an outspoken stand against religious discrimination.
The Church of Scientology has won three cases at the ECHR against the Russian Federation for their [refusing] to rightfully register the Church of Scientology as a religious organization.
While winning legally in view of the European Convention, some officials of the Russian Federation are not only denying the application of the law and their international commitments regarding religious freedom, but as a punishment for having won at the European Court of Human Rights, they did not allow registration and have used that to put in pretrial detention five peaceful Scientologists of whom three were applicants of the cases we won at the European Court of Human Rights.
Russia should really separate Church and State, should stop its hypocrisy and should stop any biased and corrupt application of law that is meant to protect people and give security but is instead being used as a witch hunt not only against Scientologists but against Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Presbyterians, many other minority Christian faiths and others.
We demand you come to your senses and start to apply your own violated constitution as well as European, OSCE, and international religious freedom standards.
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