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Church files lawsuit against television station, journalist

(Globe International/IFEX) - On 27 December 2011, the World Mission Society Church of God filed a lawsuit against TV-8 television station and one of the station's journalists, J. Minjin, in the Chingeltei District Court. In its submission, the church accused TV-8 and Minjin of damaging its reputation and impinging on its religious rights. It also demanded MNT 30 million (approx. US$22,000) to compensate for "moral damages" to the church and its members, and asked for a retraction and apology to be broadcast. The lawsuit included the signatures of ten Mongolian members of the church and its head, Kim Ul San.

On 6 September, Minjin broadcast a news item about complaints by former members of the church and other sources concerning "doubtful preaching" by the church.

The journalist broadcast the new item in front of a school located near the church, noting: "We have no intention of impinging on anyone's right to religion. When we asked members of the church for clarification, they were all scared. However, we are concerned about the troubling issue of whether someone made others suffer moral and financial damages and had a negative influence on them. Therefore, we are broadcasting a news story about it only to raise the issue without any intention of violating the rights of others."

After the broadcast, the journalist received many phone calls, day and night, from members of the church. They threatened her and yelled loudly, saying, "We will kill you. We will curse you." Moreover, a member of the church entered the TV-8 premises several times and issued death threats against the station's staff.

Globe International has been providing legal assistance to TV-8 and Minjin.

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