Recently Communicated Cases
Image for Recently Communicated Cases

Christian Religious Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the NKR v Armenia (no. 41817/10) Communicated 15 March 2018.  The applicants are the Christian Religious Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses NKR, a religious community established in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh in 1993 ("the applicant community") and an Armenian national Mr. Sargis Avanesyan, who was born in 1962 and is the community elder living in Stepanakert ("the applicant").  In June 2009, the applicant community applied to the NKR Government for state registration.  In July 2009, the NKR government staff provided an expert opinion to determine if the applicant community fulfilled the requirements of Article 5 of the NKR law.  The expert opinion concluded that by their ideology, the applicant community is  "far from a Christian organization."  In August 2009, the State Registry Department rejected the application relying on the expert opinion.  In spring of 2010, the police raided the religious meetings of the applicant community and arrested five members who were charged with an administrative offense.  The applicants complain under Articles 9 and 11 of the Convention of the continued refusal of the NKR authorities to register the applicant community as a religious organization.  

Jafarov and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 406/12) Communicated 12 March 2018.   Applicants are Jehovah's Witnesses who requested permission on several occasions from the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations ("the Committee") but the Committee banned the import of certain titles.  In three sets of proceedings, the Supreme Court upheld a decision by the appellate court that the Committee had lawfully banned the titles and exercised its sphere of authority under Article 9 of the Convention.  The Supreme Court also upheld the decision of the appellate court that found that in balancing freedom of conscience with the protection of public order and of the rights and freedoms of others, the Committee was correct to ban the import of books that exhorted religious intolerance.  The Court questions if there has been an interference with the appicant's freedom of religion and if so, was the interference prescribed by the law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2 of the Convention?  The Court also questions whether the appicants have been subjected to a difference in treatment with regard to importing religious literature and if so, did the difference in treatment pursue a legitimate aim and have a reasonable justification? 

Papageorgiou and others v. Greece (no. 4762/18 and 6140/18) Communicated 12 March 2018.  Applicants are students who live on two small islands of the Aegean Sea.  The applicants complain that the compulsory religious education violates Articles 8 and 14 in combination and 9 and 14 in combination because the exemption of religion class created by the government stigmatizes the student and the student's parents because it becomes visible that they are not followers of the "dominant religion."  The applicants also complain that the students are deprived of hours of classes because of their religous and philosophical convictions.  The Court questions whether the obligation to disclose that the students are not Orthodox Christians infringes on their Article 9 right not to manifest their religion or belief as combined with Article 14. 

Mammadov v. Azerbaijan (no. 7308/12) Communicated 6 March 2018.  In July, 2007, books and religious materials were seized from the applicant's home during a raid of a religious meeting being held there.  Claims for the return of the material were denied by the Sabail Distirct Court and Baku Court of Appeal which held that the seized books contained passages encouraging sectarianism and religious grouping and found them not recommendable for distribution.  Therefore, the Committee had acted within the sphere of authority granted by law.  The Supreme Court dismissed the cassation appeal and found with reference to Article 9 § 2 of the Convention and the Court's case law that the authorities had acted in the interests of public safety and for the protection of public order by preventing the applicant from distributing the seized books and unauthorized religious meetings.  The applicant complains under Article 9 of the Convention that the seizure of religious literature constituted an unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.  The Court questions whether there has been an interference with the applicant's freedom of religion within the meaning of Article 9 § 1 of the Convention and if so, was the intervention prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2 of the Convention.  

Avanesyan v. Armenia (no. 12999/15) Communicated 16 February 2018. Applicant is an Armenian national and a Jehovah's Witness.  When applicant became of age for mandatory military conscription he lived in the unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh Republic where he was born.  The applicant applied for alternative civilian service, which is available in Armenia, instead of compulsory military service.  Concerned that the application would be rejected, applicant moved to a town in Armenia and reapplied for alternative civilian service.  The applicant appeared at a police station according to a summons and was arrested and handed over to the officers of the Nagorno Karabakh Police who placed him in prison.  At trial the First Instance Court of General Jurisdiction of Nagorno Karabakh found the applicant guilty and sentenced him to two years and six months.  The applicant's appeal was found inadmissible for lack of merit.  Armenian law provides for alternative civilian service for Armenian citizens whose religious beliefs contradict the performance of military service since July 2004.  Relevant Nagorno Karabakh law provides a penalty of imprisonment for evasion of regular conscription to fixed term military service.  

Szulc v. Poland (no. 58042/17) - Communicated 16 February 2018. Applicant complains that his freedom to observe his religion was violated when prison adminstration failed to provide him with pork-free meals and did not allow him to reheat his meals during Ramadan.  The Court questions if there is a violation of the applicant's freedom of religion when a fully non- pork diet was not provided nor a means to reheat his meals during Ramadan.  

Sandulescu v. Roumanie and six others (no. 34724/14 and others) - Communicated 13 February 2018.  Applicant's raise a concern of the right to freedom of religion in prison.  Among other things, the applicant's complain about the detained applicant meals in accordance with the precepts of their respective religions and in one instance, a place of prayer.  Three applicants complain that prison authorities asked applicant's to prove their religious affiliation.  The Court questions whether domestic remedies have been exhausted?  Was the refusal of prison authorities to recognize the applicant's new religion in the absence of a written document amount to an interference and if so was the interference in accordance with the law.  Did ithe interference pursue a legitimate aim and was it necessary to a deomocratic society?  Have prison meals been provided in accordance with the dictates of the applicant's respective religions or have they been offered reasonable alternatives?  

Çoban v. Turkey (no. 50239/11) - Communicated 12 February 2018. Applicant was convicted of membership in the PKK and for disseminating pro PKK propoganda.   The PKK is an illegal armed organization under Articles 220 § 6 and 314 of Turkey's Criminal Code. Applicant was also convicted for resisting the police and participation in a demonstration where he allegedly chanted pro PKK slogans and clashed with security forces.  The Court questions whether there was a violaiton of the applicant's right to freedom of expression or his right to freedom of assemby on account of his convictions.  

Korostelev v. Russia (no. 29290/10) - Communicated 23 January 2018. Applicant was unable to observe his Muslim faith and pray at night while in detention.  The Court questions whether there was a violation of the applicant's freedom of religion as set forth in Article 9 of the Convention when he was unable to worship at the time prescribed by his religion especially with respect to his disciplinary sanction for praying at night.  Was an Article 13 effective domestic remedy avaialble for applicant to complain about his inability to worship at the tie prescribed by his religion? 

Mansurov v. Russia (no. 37874/11) - Communicated 23 January 2018. Applicant was convicted and fined under an extremist activity statute for distributing a story in a Mosque about a woman who made a horse lash of her hair.  The Court questions if there was na interference with the applicant's right to freedom of expression?  Did the domestic courts adduce "relevant and sufficient" reasons for the interference based on the applicable standards under Articles 9 and 10 of the Conventiion?  Which parts of the book were problematic?

Mani and Others v. Russia (no. 54264/17) - Communicated 19 January 2018.  Applicants are an Indian spiritual teacher, his Russian wife, and their infant child who also has Russian nationality. The first applicant was held liable for a newly created administrative offence of unauthorised "missionary activities" which had been introduced into Russian legislation in 2016. He was sanctioned with a fine and administrative removal from Russia which had the effect of splitting up their family. In its questions to the government the Court asks whether a violation of Article 9 ECHR has occurred, in particular whether legal provisions were sufficiently foreseeable and whether a disctinction has been drawn between "missionary activities" carried out by a religious group and individual evangelism. The Court raises further questions about difference in treatment between Russian and foreign nationals, about consideration of the welfare of the infant child, about availability of an effective domestic remedy, and about proper balance of the interests at stake.

Velitov v. Russia (no. 73328/17) - Communicated 10 January 2018.  Applicant is the imam of a Moscow mosque convicted of justification of terrorism for statements made during a sermon.  Specifically, the appicant pronounced a death prayer for a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islami who had been killed earlier.  Applicant was sentenced to three years imprisonment.  The Court questions whether the conviction interfered with the applicant's right of religious expression under Article 9 of the Convention and if that interference was justified?  Did the domestic courts specify which parts of the sermon were problematic (see Kommersant Moldovy v. Moldova, no. 41827/02, §36, 9 January 2007)?  Did the interference pursue a legitimate aim, correspond to a "pressing social need" and was the sanction proportional to the legitimate aim pursued?  In addition the Court is concerned whether the applicant received a fair hearing.   

Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and Kalin v. Russia (no. 10188/17) - Communicated 1 December 2017.  The applicants are an umbrella organization for the Jehovah's Witnesses local and regional organizations operating in Russia, and its chairman. By an April 2017 judgment, the Russian Supreme Court granted the Ministry of Justice's claim that the Administrative Centre had breached the Suprression of Extremism Act by importing, storing and distributing literature that had been listed as extremist. The applicants complain under ECHR Article 9 (freedom of religion or belief) in conjunction with Article 11 (freedom of assembly) and Article 14 (discrimination) about "an unlawful, unjustified and discriminatory interference with their right to freedom of religion on account of the liquidation of the Administrative Centre" by Russian authorities. The Administrative Centre in addition complains under Article 1 of Protocol no. 1 about the confiscation of its property.  The applicants complain that the liquidation of the Administrative Centre is an unlawful, unjustified and discriminatory interference with the applicant's freedom of religion.  

Religious Community of Jehovah's Witnesses of Kryvyi Rih v. Ukraine (no. 21477/10) - Communicated 22 November 2017.  Applicants are a community of Jehovah's Witnesses who complain that the refusal by the municipal council to allow it to build a place of worship on land that was owned by the city breached its rights under Article 9 of the Convention.  Relevant domestic law provides that refusal by a municpal authority to allocate land or examine relevant quesitons is subject to judicial review.  Request for review was denied.    The Court questions whether there has been a violation of the community's freedom of religion, contrary to Article 9 of the Convention? 

Tagiyev and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 66477/12) - Communicated 31 October, 2017. Applicants are Jehovah's Witnesses who complain that the domestic authority ban on the import of religious literature constitutes an unlawful interference with their right to freedom of religion and expression. Domestic law requires legal entities and individuals obtain permission from the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations before importing literature. Claims submitted for permission to import more literature were denied because the amount previously granted was felt sufficient to meet the needs of the community. The denial of excessive literature was seen by domestic courts as a defense for the interests and rights of third parties and in line with domestic legislation that prohibits proselyting. The Court questions whether the decision was an interference with the applicant's freedom of religion and expression and whether the applicants suffered a difference in treatment with regard to the importation of religious literature.  

Kulesh and Others v. Russia (no. 45919/13 and 3 more applications) - Communicated 5 October 2017. Applicants complain of inhuman conditions while detained, in particular, applicant's regular forced shaving. The Court questions whether applicants' mental suffering on account of the shaving was sufficiently serious to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment within meaning of Article 3 of Convention and whether the practice of wearing long hair and a beard was a manifestation of applicant's freedom of religion within meaning of this provision? If so, was interference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2? 

Fouquet v. France (no. 59227/12) - Communicated 2 October 2017 (available only in French). Applicant is a French national who complains, among other complaints, of having been forced to convert to religion of her foster family, members of Jehovah's Witnesses, while she was of Muslim faith. The Court questions whether the applicant's freedom of religion had been infringed upon within meaning of Article 9 § 1 of Convention and if so whether domestic authorities have satisfied their positive obligation to protect the applicant from forced religious conversion.

Kotelnikov and Others v. Russia (no. 1519/13 and 4 more) - Communicated 20 September 2017.  Applicants are Russian nationals who served or are still serving their sentence in correctional colony no. IK-4 in village of Fornosovo, Leningrad Region. Applicants complain under Articles 3 and 13 of Convention about conditions of their detention regular forced shaving of their heads, faces, and necks by colony warders and lack of an effective remedy.  

Ínce v. Turkey (no. 52772/08) - Communicated 18 September 2017. Applicant was suspended from university for wearing a beard as part of his religious observance. He returned to university only after amnesty was issued in October of 2008. The Court requests that parties submit information on relevant domestic law and practice regarding ban on having a beard in institutions of higher education, including internal rules of educational institution concerned.  

Christensen v. Russia (no. 39417/17) - Communicated 4 September 2017. The applicant, a Danish national living in Orel, Russia, is a Jehovah's Witness. He complains of an Article 9 violation in conjunction with Article 14 when police searched his flat and arrested him on charges of continuing the activities of a religious community which had ben liquidated by a judicial decision banning Jehovah's Witness organizations. He asserts that his arrest, accompanied by risk of criminal conviction, constituted an unlawful, unjustified and disproportionate interference with his right to manifest his religion in community with others and that he has been subjected to discrminatory treatiment because of his faith. The applicant was arrested after a search of his flat in May 2017. The Sovetskiy District Court in Orel authorized his pre-trial detention. On 21 June 2017, Orel Regional Court upheld detention order without addressing applicant's grounds of appeal. The Court questions if there was violation of Article 9 of Convention, taken on its own or in conjunction with Article 14, on account of applicant's arrest and detention and if detention was based on a "relevant and sufficient" reason as required by Article 5 § 3 of Convention. 

Samara Lro and Others v. Russia (no. 15962/15 and 6 more) - Communicated 4 September 2017. This complaint contains seven applications concerning right to freedom of religion, discriminatory treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses, banning and confiscation of religious literature by Russian authorities, failure to notify Watchtower New York of a supervisory review hearing and refusing to consider appeals against a decision issued in ex parte proceedings.  Among or concerns Court questions whether there was a violation of Artilce 10 of Convention, read in light of Article 9, taken on its own and in conjuction with Article 14 because of decisions pronouncing religious literature of Jehovah's Witnesses to be extremist material, confiscating it and banning it from circulation in Russia, and declaring extremist Jehovah's Witnesses' web-site and blocking access to it? Also, did any of publications or materials contain calls to violence or hate speech based on religious intolerance.

Abdulov and Others v. Russia (no. 32040 and others) - Communicated 31 August 2017. The applications concern prosecution of members of religious movement Nurculuk (“Нуржулар”) based on the writings of Said Nursi, a Muslim Turkish scholar who lived in the first half of the 20th century. In 2008 Supreme Court of Russian Federation, sitting in camera, declared Nurculuk an extremist organization and banned it. Applicants are leaders and members of movement, convicted of reading groups books that had been banned, inciting hatred and discord. The Court questions whether there was an interference with applicant's right to freedom of religion, whether interference was prescribed by law and whether it was necessary in a democratic society within meaning of Articles 9 § 2, 10 § 2 and 11 § 2 of Convention.  

Basyrov and Others v. Russia (nos. 2841/10 and 79469/31) - Communicated 31 August 2017. Applicants are Muslims who were convicted of leadership and membership in Tabligh Jamat organization which had been declaired an extremist organization. Applicants were found to have participated in activities after it had been declared an extremist organization; however, a judgment of ban on organization had not been published. The Court questions wher conviction is an interference with applicant's right to freedom of religion, expression, or association under Article 9 of convention and if so, it was justified.  

Publisher Ezhayev A. K. Ltd v. Russia (no. 25052/11) - Communicated 31 August 2017.  The application concerns a ban on distributing two Muslim books that had been published by applicant publisher. Leave for appeal was refused by St. Petersburg Regional Court because it found that publisher's rights had not been affected by judgment. The Court questions whether the publisher can be a victim of the alleged Article 9 violation.  

Shakirov v. Russia (no. 29346/10) - Communicated 31 August 2017.  The applicant is an Islamic preacher who was issued a warning stating that applicant was attempting to create a branch of "Ahl as-Sunnah," a religious association which adhered to a radical form of Islam.  This branch of Islam differs from traditional Islam practiced in region. The District Court of Kazan found that warning was in accordance to law and judgment was upheld on appeal by Supreme Court of Tararstan Republic. The Court questions whether the warning issued against the applicant interfered with his Article 9 rights and if so was it prescribed by law and necessary, and whether the applicant has an effective domestic remedy. 

Sozler Nesryat Ticaret ve Sanayi Anonim Syrketi v. Russia (no. 21115/13) - Communicated 31 August 2017. The applicant is a publishing company. The complaint concerns a ban on distributing a book of commentary on Quran written by Turkish scholar Said Nursi because it was declared extremist. The Court questions whether a publishing company can claim to be victim of violation of Article 9 of the Convention.  

Nasirov and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 58717/10) - Communicated 30 August 2017.  Applicants are members of Jehovah's Witnesses who in three separate instances were detained and fined for distributing literature which had not been approved for import under Code of Administrative Offenses. The appellate court upheld decision of first-instance court stating that books that had been distributed were allowed only for internal use of religious organization and not to be distributed in public places. All applicants complain that unlawful interference of domestic authorities with their freedom of worship and practice amounted to a violation of their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.  

Sultanov and Church of Scientology Nizhnekamsk v. Russia (no. 59470/11 and 5 other applications) - Communicated 30 August 2017. Applicants are Russian nationals, the Church of Scientology of city of Moscow, a non-governmental organization, and a Russian publishing house. Together the applicants complain about refusal by authorities to register the Church of Scientology as a religious organization. Certain applicants complain about a ban on Church of Scientology literature and discrimination against them. Literature was banned because it was deteremined to differ with Russian lifestyle and was dangerous for Russian society and undermined Russian traditional spiritual values.  

Sinitsyn and Alekhin v. Russia (nos. 39879/21 and 5956/13) - Communicated 30 August 2017.  Applicants are two Russian nationals and one Canadian national. The applicants complain under Articles 9 and 10 of Convention about banning of foundational book of Fulan Dafa movement, a book written by Canadian national that reports about egregious violations of human rights of Fulan followers, and two pamphlets. These written materials were determined extremist material because they fostered a negative attitude to other faiths and created a negative image of China's political and social system.  

Sydikova and Orlov v. Russia (no. 41260/17) - Communicated 30 August 2017.  The applicants are Russian followers of Aum Shinrikyō, a Japanese religious cult founded in 1984 which was responsible for several poisonous gas attacks in Tokyo in 1995. On September 20, 2016 the Supreme Court of Russia, in ex parte proceedings, pronounced Aum Shinrikyō to be a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Russia. Police interviewed applicants on suspicion of their involvement in activities of Aum Shinrikyō. According to the Russian Criminal Code, persons who continue activities of a terrorist organization face criminal sanctions of up to twenty years in prison. The Court questions whether the Supreme Court decision interfered with applicants' right to freedom of conscience?  Was judgment based on "relevant and sufficient" reasons, did it pursue a legitimate aim, and was ban necessary in a democratic society?  Did the Supreme Court consider impact of ban on rights of followers of Aum Shinrikyō cult? 

Gaziyev and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 49349/12) - Communicated 29 August 2017.  Four applicants complain under Articles 3 and 9 of Convention that domestic authorities refused to renew their identity cards because applicants were wearing beards.  They complain that forced shaving of their beards by police was a violation of their rights as protected by Convention. The Supreme Court dismissed applicants' claim as inadmissible because applicants failed to prove their rights had been violated by acts of the administrative body which is necessary according to the Code of Administrative Procedure. Court questions whether there has been an interference with the applicants' freedom of thought, conscience, or religion by refusal to grant identity cards and alleged forced shaving of applicants and whether interference was prescribed by law and necessary under Article 9?

Église Orthodoxe Vieille-Calendariste de Bulgarie and Others v. Bulgaria (no. 56751/13) - Communicated 29 August 2017 (available only in French).  Applicants are a worship association, a priest and followers. The complaint concerns refusal of domestic courts to register association because the Law on Religion did not permit registration under a name similar to that of a pre-existing religion - in this case Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The applicant association had separated from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in violation of internal rules of that religion. The Court questions whether there has been an infringement of applicants' freedom of religion and if so, was interference necessary for pursuit of a legitimate aim within the meaning of Article 9. Finally, did applicants have an effective domestic remedy at their disposal through which they could complain of a violation of Convention? 

Église Orthodoxe Indépendente and Zahariev v. Bulgaria (no. 76620/14) - Communicated 29 August 201 (available only in French).  Applicants are a worship association and its president. The complaint concerns refusal by domestic courts in July of 2014 to register applicant pursuant to the Law on Religion because worship association had a similar name and same religiouis doctirne as Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Court questions wher re was an interference with applicants' exercise of religion and if interference was for pursuit of a legitimate aim within meaning of Article 9. Also, were appicants subject to discrimination contrary to Article 14 of Convention? 

Alakbarov v. Azerbaijan (no. 55503/15) - Communicated 11 July 2017. Applicants are Azerbaijani nationals who follow writings of Said Nursi, a Sunni Muslim ologian.  Applicants were present at a house that was raided by police and civil servants and n detained at police headquarters.   Gadabay District Court found applicants guilty of violating public order under Article 296 of Code of Administrative Offenses (" CAO") and viiolating legislative rules on organizing and holding religious meetings under Artilce 299.0.2 of CAO.  An appeal was dismissed because it was determined that garing was an unauthorized religious meeting.   applicants complain under Artilcle 9 of Convention that their administrative conviction amounted to an unlawful interference by domestic authorities with their right to freedom of religion.   Court questions wher re was an interference with applicant's freedom of religion within meaning of Article 9 § 1 of Convention?  If so, was interference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2 of Convention? 

Pashayev and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 18068/08) - Communicated 11 Juy 2017. Applicants are Azerbaijani nationals who were visiting Guba DIstrict for a few days but were asked by authorities to comply with laws of termporary residence registration. Applicants complain of a restriction in their right to travel under Articles 9 and 14 because y were singled out by Guba District Court solely because y were dressed in traditional Islamic attire and wore long beards.   Court questions wher their liberty of movement was restricted, wher re was interference with applicant's freedom of religion and wher applicants suffered enjoyment of their Convention rights on grounds of religion.  

Religious Community of Jehovah's Witnesses and Hansen v. Azerbaijan (no. 52682/07) - Communicated 11 July 2017. Applicants are a religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses (" Congregation") with registered seat in Baku and Mr. Hansen, a Norwegian national who owns building that Congregation rents for purposes of holding religious meetings. The building was raided on 24 December 2006. Computer equipment and religious paraphenaiia were confiscated. Following an appeal by prosecutor of Khatai District to quash a previous order in favor of Congregation, the Baku Court of Appeal reviewed case in camera, without applicants' present, and found that police had acted in accordance with Article 177.6 of Code of Criminal procedure. Applicants complain that they were not notified of prosecutor's appeal and were therefore deprived of their right to a fair trial.  They also complain of an unlawful interference by domestic authorities with their freedom of worship and practice in violation of their rights to freedom of religion. 

Ossewaarde v. Russia (no. 27227/17) - Communicated 6 July 2017. Applicant is a United States citizen who iives in Russia. He was arrested following a Baptist prayer meeting that he held in his home and was convicted of conducting "missionary activities" without having notified authorities of establishing a religious group. Court questions wher re was as violation of Articles 9 and 11 of Convention in connection with applicant's prosecution for organization of Bible reading meetings? Also, did Russian courts draw a distinction between "missionary activities" carried out by a religious group and individual evangelism and did y indicate any facts buttressing their conclusion?

Evangelical Christian Church New Generation in Blagoveshchensk v. Russia (no. 73458/11) - Communicated 6 July 2017.  applicant church is an organization registered as a religious organization under Russian law. Applicant complains under Article 9 on its own and in conjunction with Article 14 of Convention that Russian courts unlawfully restricted applicant's right to conduct sermons and distribute video recordings of its programs. Prohibition of distribution of applicant's DVDs was based on expert testimony that stated that DVDs contained neuro-linquistic programming.  According to Russian courts, this determination constituted an illegal and unlicensed use of medicine. Court questions wher Russian courts carried out an examination of primary evidence to identify specific parts of DVDs that would be problematic and dangerous for public health.  Also, did Russian courts carry out a balancing exercise to weigh public safety considerations against countervailing principles of religious freedom.

Genc and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 71032/12) - Communicated 6 July 2017. Applicants are Turkish immigrants of Islamic faith who were arrested at a religious meeting that was being held in a private home. Applicants were found guilty of violating legislation on freedom of religion relating to foreigners under Article 300.0.4 of Code of Administrative Offenses. applicants complain of unlawful intereference of domestic authorities with their freedom of worship and practice which amounts to a violation of their right to freedom of religion.  

Niftaliyev and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 561/12) - Communicated 6 July 2017. applicants are Jehovah's Witnesses who were arrested during a religious meeting in a private home of one of applicants.  Applicants were found guilty of violating legislation on organizing and holding religious meetings outside religious organization's place of activity. Court questions wher interference was prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Articla 9§2 of Convention

Sheveli and Shengelaya v. Azerbaijan (no. 42730/11) - Communicated 6 July 2017. applicants are Georgian nationals who complain under Article 9 of Convention that unlawful interference of domestic authorities with applicant's freedom of worship and practice of their faith as Jehovah's Witnesses. Applicants were were participating in a religious worship service in a private apartment when y were arrested. Applicant's were convicted of violating legislation on freedom of religion by foreigners under Article 300.0.4 of Code of Administrative Offenses and ordered to be deported. Court questions wher interference was prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2 of Convention.  

Dyagilev v. Russia (no. 49972/16) - Communicated 29 June 2017. The applicant is a Russian national who requested enlistment in a civil service assignment instead of Russia’s compulsory military alternative because of applicant’s adherence to pacifist philosophy. applicant's request was denied. The  Court questions whether there was an interference with applicant's freedom of conscience within themeaning of Article 9 § 2 of Convention.

Milshteyn v. Russia (no. 1377/14) - Communicated 16 June 2017.  The applicant is a follower of Elle-Ayat (or Alla-Ayat), a sun worshipping religious cult founded in 1990. rituals of cult include reading of Formula of Life written in Uyghur script, consumption of tea with milk and salt (called etken çay, “active tea”), observation of Sun, and energy cleansing sessions. Followers of cult formed a religious group in Novosibirsk, without legal-entity status. applicant was also publisher of a magazine mainly containing articles praising Elle-Ayat self-treatment methods and testimonials of followers who had recovered from ailiments including cancer. Government officials banned activities of organization and declared several issues of publication extremist and dangerous in inducement to refuse medical assistance on religious grounds. applicant complains of violations of ECHR Articles 9 (religion), 10 (expression), and 11 (assembly), taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14 (discrimination), and of Article 6 (fair hearing) in proceedings on application for banning of activities of applicant’s group.

Dzikowski v. Poland (no. 38799/11) - Communicated 27 May 2017.  applicant complains under Articles 8 and 9 of Convention about refusal to grant him leave from prison to conclude a religious (Islamic) marriage. Court questions wher planned religious marriage was a manifestation of applicant’s freedom of religion within meaning of Article 9 § 1 of Convention.

Kilic v. Austria (no. 27700/15) - Communicated 23 May 2017. Applicants complain under ECHR Article 9 that their two youngest children have been placed in a Christian foster care family and are now growing up without learning Turkish language and culture, and without any contact with Muslim religion. y complain that domestic courts ignored cultural, linguistic and religious fact or when children were placed with Christian foster parents who do not have any Turkish or Muslim background. Among or questions Court asks wher statistics are available of how many foster families re are in Vienna and its surroundings who are Muslim and/or Turkish origin? Do domestic authorities consider cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious background of a child when choosing its foster parents? Are foster families sufficiently informed by authorities on how to respect and consider cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious identity of their foster children (if applicable).

Polat v. Austria (no. 12886/16) - Communicated 23 May 2017. applicant complains under Articles 8 and 9 of Convention that carrying out of post-mortem on her son’s body against her will had violated her right to respect of her private and family life as well as her right to freedom of religion as she was no longer able to bury her son in accordance to Muslim belief. Court questions wher re was an interference with applicant’s freedom of religion and if so, if interference was necessary and prescribed by law in terms of Article 9 §2

Gridneva v. Azerbaijan (no. 29578/11) - Communicated 18 May 2017.Applicant complains under Article 9 that her freedom of worship and practice was violated when she was interrogated for eleven hours and charged under Article 300.0.3 of Code of Administrative Offenses of distributing banned religious literature. Court questions wher re was an interference with applicant's freedom of religion and if so, if interference was necessary and prescribed by law in terms of Article 9 §2.

Bryansk-Tula Diocese of Russian Orthodox Free Church v. Russia (no. 32895/13) - Communicated 15 May 2017. Russian Supreme Court allowed Ministry of Justices action for dissolution holding that applicant church failed to bring its founding documents into conformity with Religious Act of 1997. Applicant’s complain that dissolution was prompted by Russian authorities’ determination to eradicate any competition with Russian Orthodox Church.

Religious Community of Jehovah's Witnesses v. Azerbaijan (no. 52884/09) - Communicated 23 March 2017.  refusal by State Committee for Work and Religious Associations to allow import of specific literature that contained content hostile to or (mostly Christian) religions was upheld on appeal. applicant community complains that domestic authorities refusal to allow import of religious literature constituted unlawful interference, under Articles 9 and 10, with its rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Gabunia and Others v. Georgia (No. 37276/05) - Communicated 14 March 2017. Applicants complain that their right to freely practice their religion under Article 9 in conjuction with Article 14, because, inter alia, their religious meetings were violently disrupted. 

Kolyasnikov v. Russia (no. 39776/15) - Communicated 23 February 2017. application concerns applicant's prosecution for holding a Bible-reading meeting in a café without prior notification to authorities.   Court has already found that requirement of notification for holding a religious meeting in a café had no basis in Russian law and was not necessary in a democratic society (see Krupko and Others v. Russia, no. 26587/07 §§ 54-57, 26 June 2014). 

Pakiela v. Poland (no. 74683/13) - Communicated 22 February 2017.  Prisoner in Poland complains of being fed meat products despite his requests for a vegetarian diet per his religioius dietary requirements.   Court questions wher State's failure to conform with prisoner's convictions constitute an "interference" with applicant's freedom of religion within meaning of Article 9 of Convention. 

Mirazayev v. Azerbaijan (no. 41792/15) - Communicated 9 February 2017.   applicant is an Azerbaijani national and Jehovah Wintess convicted of refusing military service.  His cassation appeal was dismissed by Supreme Court because relevant leglislation had not yet been passed and alternatives to service only appied when nation was not at war.   Court questions wher re has been an interference with appiicant's freedom of thought, conscience, or religion, whintin meaning of Article 9 §1 of Convention, on account of applicant's criminal conviction for refususing to perform his miitary service?  If so, was that intereference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 §2. 

Simonyan and "Word of Life" Church v. Armenia (no. 30817/13) - Communicated 26 January 2017. Media accusations labeled church a "sect" which church believes was discriminatory and breached State's duty of impartiality an neutrality in religious matters.  

Krishna Consciousness Societies in Russa and Frolov v. Russia (no. 37477/11) - Communicated 23 January 2017. A Krishna Center complains that information disseminated by public authorities in their "Beware of Sects" program incited enmity and hatred on grounds of religious belief. 

Guven v. Turkey (no. 47713/12) - Communicated 18 January 2017. Signed petitions in support of founder of PKK found in possession of applicant were held to be propoganda in violation of Prevention of Terrorism Act.  Complaint claims a violation of freedom of thought and expression.

Yamac v. Turkey (no. 5642/13) - Communicated 18 January 2017. Applicant is a Turkish national arrested for disseminating propoganda about PKK because of comments made at funeral of a PKK militant. Complaint is a violation of freedom of expression.

Molla Sali v. Greece (no. 2045/14) - Communicated 23 August 2016.  This case concerns the application by the Greek courts of Islamic religious (Sharia) law to a dispute concerning inheritance rights over the estate of the late husband of Ms Molla Sali, a Greek national belonging to the country’s Muslim minority. Thd Court's First Section relinquished jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber on 8 June 2017. The Grand Chamber heard arguments in the case on 6 December 2017, and while judgment was awaited, on 9 January 2018 the Greek Parliament voted to limit the powers of Islamic courts operating in Thrace, home about 100,000 Muslims.

Taran v. Russia (no. 11327/10) - Communicated 2 May 2016.  Old Believer accused of crimes, remanded in custody, and forcibly shaved off by prinson officer, complains that decision to remand lacked sufficient reason, that his Convention rights were violated when prison officials forcibly shaved beard required by his faith.

Hamidović v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 57792/15) - Communicated 24 March 2016. Adherent of Wahhabi/Salafi version of Islam called to testify in court alleges violation of Convention rights in punishment for refusing to remove his cap (symbol of his religion) in courtroom.

Pingen v. Germany (no. 11344/16) and Tlpak v. Germany (no. 11308/16) - Communicated 16 March 2016. Applicant members of Twelve Tribes church (Zwölf Stämme) complain, mainly under Article 8, about decisions of domestic courts regarding custody of their children.

Aydan and Others v. Armenia (no. 75604/11) - Communicated 29 February 2016. Four Jehovah's Witnesses complain of detention following their objection to fact that presecribed alternative to military service was still under supervision of military.

Stern Taulats and Roura Capellera v. Spain (no. 51168/15) - Communicated 22 February 2016.  The applicants were convicted of criminal insult to Crown, when, during a demonstration in connection with a visit of King of Spain, with their faces covered, thye set fire to an actual-size photograph of royal couple, in a public square. Sentenced to fifteen months' imprisonment (later replaced by a fine), y complain before Court of violation of their rights to freedom of thought and expression. 

Alekseyev and 50 other applications v. Russia  (no. 14988/09) - Communicated 15 January 2016. The applicants are Russian nationals who lodged legal notices of public LGBT assemblies but were refused permission, in each case after announced date of assembly. y complain of violation of their rights of peaceful assembly under ECHR Article 11, of discimination, and of no effective remedy for violation of their rights.

Kornilova v. Ukraine (no. 47283/14) - Communicated 10 December 2015. Applicant Jehovah Witness was assaulted during a door-to-door visit distributing invitation cards for a religious service. She complains under Articles 3, 9 and 14 that her allegations of ill-treatment on grounds of her religion have not been properly investigated and examined by domestic authorities.

Lachiri v. Belgium (no. 3413/09) - Communicated 9 October 2015. A Muslim woman complains that decision of a magistrate of a court of appeals to exclude her from a courtroom when she refused to remove her hijab infringed her rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Tsulukidze and Others v. Georgia (no. 14797/11) - Communicated 28 September 2015. Applicants, 16 Jehovah's Witnesses, complain under Articles 3 and 9 of Convention taken separately and in conjunction with Article 14 about religiously motivated violence to which y were subjected in Georgia and relevant authorities’ failure to prevent, stop or redress alleged violations.

Vavřička, Novotná, Hornych, Brožík, Dubský, Roleček v. Czech Republic (nos. 47621/13, 3867/14, 73094/14, 19306/15, 19298/15, 43883/15) - Communicated 7 and 9 September 2015). Applicants (in six consolidated cases) complain that national legislation requiring vaccination of their children against poliomyelitis, hepatits B, and tetanus before y can be admitted to school is a violation of their private and family life as protected by Article 8 of Convention, of their Article 9 rights to freedom of conscience, and their childrens' rights to education under Article 2 of Protocol 1. Some complain as well of lack of legal remedy (Article 6).

Tserkov Yevangelskikh Khristian-Baptistov and Panasenko v. Russia (no. 70090/10) - Communicated 28 August 2015). A registered religious organization and its presbyter complain that administrative offence proceedings against m for conducting Christian club meetings for children on Saturdays and Sundays disproportionately restricted their Article 9 rightsof freedom to manifest their religion/belief in teaching, as their activities did not fall within scope of "educational activities", which required a State licence. applicants also allege under Article 14 that y were treated differently as compared to numerous Orthodox organisations, which were permitted to carry out similar activities without a State licence.

Dakir v. Belgium (no. 4619/12) - Communicated 9 July 2015. A Muslim woman had chosen of her own will from age 16 to wear a niqab (veil covering her face except for eyes) for religious purposes. She has always agreed to remove veil for reasons of identification, as requested by authorities, notably for issuance of an identity card. Invoking ECHR Articles 8, 9, and 10 taken alone and in combination with Article 14, she complains that French prohibition of wearing veil in public violates her rights to privacy, to manifest religious belief, and to freedom of expression, and discriminates against her in enjoyment of se rights. She furr complains under Articles 6 § 1 and 13 that she lacks an effective remedy and access to courts in seeing redress.

Mockutė v. Lithuania (no. 66490/09) - Communicated 19 June 2015. The applicant asserts breaches of her Article 8 right to privacy and her Article 9 right to practice her religion resulting from incidents during her stay at a psychiatric hospital. 

Belkacemi and Oussar v. Belgium (no. 37798/13) - Communicated 9 June 2015. Muslim women complain about the ban in Belgian law on wearing full-face veil, as violation their rights to respect for private and family life; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and prohibition of discrimination.

Klein, Nussbaum, Redeker, Gloeckner v. Germany (nos. 10138/11, 16687/11, 25359/11, 28919/11) - Communicated 8 June 2015. Applicants complain under ECHR Article 9 that levying by German authorities of Church tax and a special Church fee violated their freedom of religion. Three of applicants complain under Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 9 that levying of special Church tax was discriminatory against women.

Union des Familles en Europe v. France (no. 25317/13) - Communicated 21 May 2015. The applicant organization incorporated complains, relying on Articles 9 and 11, that its not being or desiring to become a member of national union of families (UNAF), which precludes its participation in economic, social, and environmental council (CESE), of which it would like to be a part, is a violation of right not to join an association. Relying on Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 11, applicant complains of discrimination between family associations who, like m, choose not to join UNAF, and those who choose to join resulting from fact that only latter have access to CESE, since UNAF has exclusive direct or indirect designation of representatives of family associations within it.

Muslim Board Startsevo v. Bulgaria (no. 41214/13) - Communicated 13 May 2015. Applicant organization complains under Article 9 that its freedom to manifest its religion has been breached as municipal authorities continuously prevented it from observing Muslim religion rituals when burying dead in cemetery it has owned for over 100 years. The organization also complains under Article 13 that it did not have an effective domestic remedy in respect of alleged breach of Article 9.

Baydar v. Turkey (no. 25632/13) - Communicated 17 November 2014.  Applicant is a conscientious objector to required military service. 

A.S.R. v. Turkey (no. 60079/14) - Communicated 13 November 2014.  Applicant converted to Christianity while living in Iran and complains that he is at risk of being returned to Iran. 

L’Archidiocèse Catholique de Bucarest v. Romania (no. 3524/10) - Communicated 10 October 2014.  The case concerns construction of a tower next to a Catholic cadral. applicant claims that tower's presence infringes on freedom of religious practice of believers.

M.R. v. Nerlands (no. 60814/14) - Communicated 2 September 2014. applicant is an Iranian national seeking asylum in Nerlands. He claims that his return to Iran would put him in danger because of his conversion to Christianity.

Bektashi Community and Others v. Macedonia (no. 48044/10) - Communicated 25 August 2014.  Bektashi Community is a religious community in Macedonia which was denied official legal status. applicants are complaining under Article 6 (right to a fair trial) as well as Articles 9, 11, and 14.

Stavropigijalen Manastir 'Sveti Jovan Zlatoust' and Church of Real Orthodox Christians and Kiril v. Macedonia (nos. 52849/09 and 35700/11) - Communicated 25 August 2014.  Two applicants are religious organizations which applied for registration but were refused. They are complaining under Articles 9 and 11 in conjunction with Article 14.

Fondation du Monastere Syriaque de Saint-Gabriel à Midyat v. Turkey (no. 61412/11) - Communicated 18 August 2014.  The case is a property dispute involving a monastery in Turkey.

Samadov v. Azerbaijan (no. 48431/11) - Communicated 30 June 2014.  The Chairman of Azerbaijan Islamic Party is appealing his arrest after giving a speech criticizing government and ban on wearing Islamic veils in schools.

Holmatova and Others v. Turkey (no. 14355/13) - Communicated 26 June 2014. An Uzbek family who fled religious persecution seeks asylum in Turkey and complains about conditions of their conditions.

Karatayev v. Russia (no. 56109/07) - Communicated 17 June 2014. Newspaper publisher appeals criminal charges against an article about history of swastika in Hindu and early Slavic religious traditions.

Yehova'nin Şahitlerini Destekleme Derneği and Others v. Turquie (nos. 36915/10 and 8606/13) - Communicated 6 June 2014. Turkish Jehovah's Witness organization complains of discrimination and bureaucratic obstacles to establishing centers of worship. 

Biserica Evanghelica Romana - Parohia Poenarii Burchii v. Romania (no. 44040/06) - Communicated 20 May 2014. A parish of Romanian Evangelical Church complains of discrimination as to their burial rights

Oliari and Others v. Italy (nos. 18766/11 and 36030/11)  and Orlandi and Others v. Italy (nos. 26431/12, 26742/12, 44057/12, 60088/12) - Communicated 12 March 2014. Same-sex marriage cases.