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Works by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard will be added to the country's list of extremist literature for "undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation," the Prosecutor General's Office said Wednesday.
The ruling — initiated by transport prosecutors in the Siberian city of Surgut and Khanty-Mansiisk customs officers — is the latest use of the hotly debated law on extremism to target systems of belief that are not traditional to Russia.
Individuals in possession of extremist materials can be jailed for up to 15 days or fined 3,000 rubles ($100). The law also allows for harsher punishment of suspects convicted of other crimes.
Prosecutors said they intercepted 28 individual titles, including books, audio and video recordings by Hubbard that were sent to residents in Surgut from the United States. The materials were sent for study to "psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists," who determined that they should not be distributed in Russia, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
A Surgut city court approved the transport prosecutors' request "in full," the statement said.
The ruling opens a new legal front against the Church of Scientology, which won a ruling against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights last year.