MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's highest court has upheld a ruling that halts the activities of a regional branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and bans dozens of its publications.
In September, a court in Rostov-on-Don had outlawed the group's activities in the region, seized its assets there and labeled 34 of its publications extremist. The Russian Supreme Court upheld the ruling, court spokesman Pavel Odintsov said Tuesday.
The list of banned books includes a children's book of Bible stories, and the Jehovah's Witnesses' signature magazine, The Watchtower.
"We are deeply disappointed with that decision," Jehovah's Witnesses spokesman Yaroslav Sivulskiy said. "We are concerned that it may affect all our activities, including imports of our publications which are printed in Germany."
The group plans to appeal to the European Court for Human Rights. Sivulskiy said there are at least 160,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.