Scientologists Fail to Escape Surveillance | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 12.11.2004
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Germany

Scientologists Fail to Escape Surveillance

A German court here has rejected an appeal from the US-based Church of Scientology which called for an end to the surveillance of its activities by the domestic security services. The court ruled on Thursday that some of the Scientologists' activities were "contrary to the foundations of democracy" and went against human rights. The German authorities placed the church under observation in 1997 when it estimated the number of members in Germany at between 5,000 and 6,000 although the Scientologists say they have 30,000 members. In its last report, in 2003, the German domestic security services accused the movement of influencing its members in a way that was "hostile to the constitution." The group is considered a sect in other Western countries, including France and Greece. (AFP)

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