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US Clashes With Bonn In Scientology Row

Guardian, Tuesday January 28 1997, p11

The simmering row between the United States and Germany over freedom of speech and faith will worsen tomorrow when Washington denounces Bonn's campaign against Scientology.

In its annual human rights report, the State Department criticises Germany for a "campaign of harassment and intimidation" against the Los Angeles-based sect, which claims 8 million adherents worldwide and 30,000 in Germany.

A join resolution submitted by Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg to the Bundesrat (upper house of paliament) in Bonn aims to harmonise legislation by the 16 German states to prevent the Scientologists registering as a charity.

For several years the State Department's reports have criticised Germany for religious intolerance, but tomorrow's statement uses stronger language. In 1994, the United Nations human rights commission also questioned Germany's anti-Scientology campaign.

The Scientologists are to take their case to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg, alleging discrimination against members in Germany,

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