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Russia’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Jehovah’s Witnesses was an “extremist” organisation and must hand over all its property to the state, Russian news agencies reported.

Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Cherepanov, a Jehovah’s Witnesses representative, as saying that the group will appeal the decision in the European Court of Human Rights. “We will do everything possible,” he said.

Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organisation that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.

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