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Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 10:45 GMT
Russia rejects Potter ban
JK Rowling
JK Rowling's books are popular in Russia
Russian school pupils will continue to be able to read about Harry Potter's adventures, after an attempt to have the books banned was rejected.

A Slavic cultural organisation had alleged that the stories about magic and wizard could draw students into Satanism.

But on Tuesday the prosecutor's office in Moscow, which had investigated the claim, said that it would not be taking forward the allegations.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said that it had considered a claim that the Harry Potter stories instilled "religious extremism and prompted students to join religious organisations of Satanist followers".

But that "the probe revealed that there were no grounds for a criminal case".

JK Rowling's novels have become popular in Russia, as they have in many countries around the world.

Dabbling

The books, best-sellers in the United Kingdom and the United States, have already faced claims that they could trigger an interest in the occult.

In 2000, a primary head teacher in Kent banned the books from her Church of England school because of the representation of wizards and magic.

And in 2001, a teachers' union leader, Peter Smith, warned parents that the books could prompt "dabbling" in the occult.

"There is a darker side to the occult which may disturb vulnerable children and expose them to manipulation by adults," said Mr Smith, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

But the author, JK Rowling, has always argued that stories have a clear moral message.

See also:

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