Article 9

Illegal obstruction of the construction site of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Violations of the ECHR

The Religious Denomination of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria v. Bulgaria 10.11.20 (app. no. 5301/11)
The right of believers of the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses to freely express their faith and to have their own place of worship. Freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.
The applicant is an organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria. It decided to build a temple, on her own property. The Mayor, by his decision, suspended the reconstruction works due to violation of urban planning provisions.
A court order was issued allowing the construction to continue, but the Mayor, due to legal action, failed to issue a decision to continue the works, instead publicly denouncing the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a religion with a negative impact on its believers. The domestic courts did not find the mayor’s refusal to lift the suspension illegal.

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Prisoner did not receive meals compatible with his religion. No written proof is required for a change of religion. Violation of the right to religious freedom

Saran v. Romania 10.11.2020 (app. no. 65993/16)
Religious freedom and compatible meals in prisons. Failure to provide a prisoner with meals compliant with Islamic principles.
The applicant was held in five Romanian prisons between 2016 and 2018. He complained that he had not received meals in accordance with his religious, Islam, in two of them and was required to provide written proof , although he had stated that he was a Muslim when he was admitted in prison and the prison records confirmed this fact.

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The refusal to rectify religion in the prison record did not hinder religious duties. Non-violation of religious freedom

JUDGMENT Mariș c. Romania 22.10.2020 (app. no. 58208/14) see here SUMMARY The case concerns the refusal of the Romanian authorities to amend, upon a mere declaration by Mr Mariş, the entry giving his religion in the register of Miercurea-Ciuc prison. The applicant mainly alleged that his rights under Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and […]

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Presence of a student in an orthodox rite of blessing without the knowledge of his parents and contrary to his religious beliefs. Non-violation of the right to education and freedom of religion

JUDGMENT Perovy v. Russia  20-10-2020 (app.  47429/09) see here SUMMARY The case  concerned the Russian Orthodox rite of blessing in a classroom. The applicants in the case are a married couple (the first and second applicants) and their son (the third applicant) who are not members of the Russian Orthodox Church. They all alleged that […]

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Eviction of Ukrainian Orthodox Church from a church and chapel demolition. Rejection due to lack of risk of irreparable damage to a fundamental right.

JUDGMENT «Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in Crimea» v. Russia 01.09.2020 (app. 33931/19 and 33585/20). Interim Measures SUMMARY Eviction from a church and demolition of a chapel. Application for temporary measures by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Crimea, so that the Russian authorities do not evict them from the cathedral in Simferopol and […]

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The birth certificate, which implied that the child had not been baptized, violated the family’s right not to disclose their religious beliefs.

JUDGMENT Stavropoulos and others v. Greece 25.06.2020 (no. 52484/18) see here SUMMARY The case concerned the practice of certain registry offices in Greece indicating on birth certificates when a child is named by a civil act. Stavroula-Dorothea Stavropoulou and her parents, the applicants in the case, complained in particular that the handwritten note “naming” on […]

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Provision of meals to Jewish prisoners according to their religion. Respect for their religious freedom by the state authorities

JUDGMENT Erlich and Kastro v. Romania 09.06.2020 (no. 23735/16 and 23740/16) see here  SUMMARY The case concerned the provision of kosher meals to two Israeli prisoners of Jewish faith detained in a Romanian prison. The applicants complained of the failure of the Rahova Prison authorities to provide them with meals complying with the precepts of […]

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Denying the request for conscientious objection to a claimant who did not provide sufficient evidence was in accordance with the ECHR.

JUDGMENT Dyagilev v. Russia 10.3.2020 (no. 49972/16) see here SUMMARY The case concerned the procedure in Russia for examining requests to replace compulsory military service with its civilian alternative. The applicant in the case, a recent graduate, complained that the authorities had refused his request because they found that he was not a genuine pacifist. […]

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