For Immediate Release
September 3, 2010
Public access to religious Web site blocked in eastern Russia
KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR, Russia—One of the largest Internet service providers in eastern Russia, Technodesign, was compelled by court order to block access to several popular Web sites, including http://www.watchtower.org, the official Web site of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The ruling was made by the Tsentralniy District Court of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on June 4, 2010, and came into force on June 16, 2010. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (owner of the copyrighted materials on the Web site) and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (owner of the Internet site itself) were not called to participate in the case, nor did they receive a copy of the decision. Both corporations first learned of the decision on August 4, 2010, after Technodesign had already blocked access to the Internet site on July 30, 2010, in implementation of the court decision.
Once the decision was implemented, users in the area were unable to access watchtower.org. It appears that local officials want to prevent interested individuals from reading online any of the publications that the courts in Rostov and Gorno-Altaysk had pronounced extremist.
In Belgium: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, telephone +32 2 782 0015
In Russia: Sergey Tarasov, telephone + 7 812 702 2691
In USA: J. R. Brown, telephone +1 718 560 5600