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ECHR protects the right of a Scientologist in Russia, to Freedom of Religion

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To guarantee FoRB, European Court of Human Rights Sanctions Russian State, Awards Damages to Russian Scientologist

STANDLEAGUE. On September 28, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Vladimir Leonidovich Kuropyatnik, a Moscow Scientologist, had been illegally detained by Russian police based on his membership in the Scientology religion. The Court said that this act violated his human rights. 

In its ruling, the ECHR judges concluded that Kuropyatnik’s detention on October 13, 2010, conforms to a deprivation of liberty and also a violation of Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 9 (and freedom of thought, conscience, and religion [FoRB]) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

As stated in this ECHR ruling and others, the Church of Scientology had been registered as a religious organization in Russia for over two decades, confirming that Russian authorities had consistently acknowledged the religious nature of Scientology over the years. This makes it that the Russian police’s targeting of Mr. Kuropyatnik for being a Scientologist is a blatant abuse of freedom of religion or belief by Russian authorities. Based on that, the Court consequently has awarded damages to Mr. Kuropyatnik for 8000 euros.

Article 9 of the ECHR Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms reads: 

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

Article 9 of the ECHR Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

“Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

In the words of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.” 

In its release, STAND League applauds the ECHR for upholding its Convention and protecting FoRB and fundamental human rights.

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