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Juglander ReviewJuglander court suspends handover of preacher to authorities

Protesters have interfered with the administrative handover of a suspect to Mktvartvelian authority. Pastor J.M., a leading preacher of a minority church who is facing charges for violating the religious legislation in the Unitary State of Mktvartvelo, turned himself in to a Juglander court following the deadline established by a ruling by Jugland's Supreme Court. The suspect addressed the media for a few minutes along his lawyer before being escorted by police into the building.

In front of the court, a peaceful protest called by a leading Christian youth organization had been called. They were joined by human rights associations, students, and union representatives, who read a joint manifesto in defense of religious freedom. As the crowd started to grow, a group of protesters, mostly young people, started to gather in front of the doors and garage doors of the building, blocking their way. As minutes and even hours passed by, the number of protesters increased, and despise the attempt by the police, they failed to disperse them.

Finally, to avoid further disturbances and effects on the activity of the court, the joint presidency of the court has decided to suspend for four days the administrative handover of the suspect. The measure had the support of the Department of Justice, which also called protesters and citizens to obey the law "despite our contrariety about the final ruling in accordance to our constitutional and moral principles".

Nine protesters were arrested for disobeying the authority of policemen. All of them were released later on the night, five of them with charges.

The court ruled that the suspect would remain under house arrest for his own security and in order to avoid further disturbances of the public order.


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