|For Immediate Release
March 19, 2009
ECHR ruling urges Austria to comply with its human rights commitments
STRASBOURG — The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), through its March 19, 2009, decision Lang v. Austria, again vindicated the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Austria. This is the fourth decision within a year by which the Court ruled that the Austrian religion law violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
Johann Zimmermann, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Austria, says: “The Court’s ruling confirms that ministers of Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered discrimination when the government refused to accord them the same rights and privileges extended to clergymen and religious ministers of other churches and religious organizations. Along with all who value religious freedom, Jehovah’s Witnesses are confident that the legislature will react and will adjust the present legal situation and put an end to discrimination.”
On March 23, 2009, the eight-week “survey procedure” regarding the recognition of Jehovah’s Witnesses will end. We remain hopeful that the Austrian authorities will comply without any further delay to the July 31, 2008, ECHR decision in Religionsgemeinschaft der Zeugen Jehovas and Others v. Austria, No. 40825/98, as well as the two subsequent judgments, and legally recognize Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Further information can be found online under www.jehovas-zeugen.at.
Contact in Austria: Johann Zimmermann
Telephone: 0043-1-804 53 45-39; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
United States: Gregory Allen, Associate General Counsel,
Telephone: + (1) 845 306 1000,