Attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses in January and February 2010

Настоящий материал (информация) произведен и (или) распространен иностранным агентом РОО Центр «Сова» либо касается деятельности иностранного агента РОО Центр «Сова».

On September 22, 2009, the regional court of the Rostovskaya Oblast found 34 Jehovah's Witness publications :extremist; and determined that the Jehovah's Witnesses of Taganrog were :extremist.; On December 8, 2009, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the Rostovskaya regional court ruling and publications by the Jehovah's Witness now appear on the government's list of banned extremist material. In the aftermath of the September ruling by the Rostovskaya regional court, Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia have faced extensive persecution. The number of incidents in which Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained or attacked in Russia has been increasing dramatically ever the regional court's ruling. In particular, there were 100% more reported attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia in January and February of 2010 than there were in September and November of 2009. Similarly, there were 33% more reported detentions of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia in February 2010 than in January of 2010. Specific incidents, which have been taken from Sova center reports, are related below.

There were a series of attacks of Jehovah's Witnesses in January and February 2010 in different regions of Russia.

Here we perform the translation of Jehova's Witnesses own materials. Translated by James freeman.

In January 2010, two Jehovah's Witnesses in Krasnodar shared their religious convictions with the tenants of a house. They then met a man who wanted to know what they were doing. After learning that they were Jehovah's Witnesses, the man insulted them, started to chase them, and threatened them at gunpoint.

In January 2010 in Vyselki (Krasnodarskiy Krai), two Jehovah's Witnesses spoke with people about the Bible. They met a man who attacked and smashed the lip of one of the believers. The Jehovah's Witnesses appealed to the police, but the police laughed at them and refused to either file a complaint or report the incident.

In January 2010 in the village of Krasnozorenskom (Stavropol region) Jehovah's Witnesses spoke with people about religion. Three men in military Cossack uniforms approached the believers. Presenting himself as ataman (commander), one of the men asked the believers what they were doing in the village. After checking the passports of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the ataman (commander) demanded to see documents attesting to the believers' right to preach. In an aggressive manner, the men demanded that the Jehovah's Witnesses leave the village during the next 20 minutes and threatened to burn the car of the Jehovah's Witnesses if the believers did not comply.

On January 4 2010 in the Elizavetinskaya Station (Rostovskaya Oblast), a group of eight Jehovah's Witnesses spoke with people about the Bible. A representative of the administration and a Cossack approached the Jehovah's Witnesses and demanded that they leave the station nicely or be beaten unmercifully with whips.

On January 21, 2010 in Meleuz (the Republic of Bashkortostan) two Jehovah's Witnesses met a man during the course of a sermon who insulted them and would not let them go. When the Jehovah's Witnesses tried to call the police, the man attacked them and started to beat them. He smote them with blows to the face, head and body. In addition, he beat another Jehovah's Witness who women in the in the location addressed in calls for help. The attack was stopped by the police (militsiya).

On January 29, 2010 in the village Baymak (the Republic of Bashkortostan) two female Jehovah's Witnesses came to the residence of a young man who they knew in order to talk about religion. However, the young man was not at home. Suddenly a man jumped out of the apartment and injured both Jehovah's Witnesses. The Jehovah's Witnesses called the police (militsiya), but the police refused to accept a statement from them. Instead, the police insulted the Jehovah's Witnesses. Complaints were lodged to both the Republic of Bashkortostan and the office of the public prosecutor. Early in the morning of February 14, the perpetrator of the attack came to the house where the Jehovah's Witnesses live and threatened further abuse.

In February of 2010 in Balakhna (Nizhy Novgorod oblast) two Jehovah's Witnesses were preaching when a woman attacked them. She beat and insulted the Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the victims had a concussion.

On February 4 2010 in Kineshma (Ivanovo Oblast) two elderly female Jehovah's Witnesses were giving a sermon. A young man opened the door of their apartment. He pulled off a cross that he had around his chest and kissed it. He then banged one of the Jehovah's Witnesses against the doorpost and shoved her down the stairs. The woman broke her arm. The victim appealed to the police (militsiya) with a statement.

On February 5, 2010 in Saint Petersburg, a Jehovah's Witness was assaulted by a colleague while at work. He suffered multiple injuries.
On February 8 2010 in Naberezhnye Chelny (the Republic of Tatarstan), two Jehovah's Witnesses were speaking with people about religion when a man assaulted and insulted them. One woman ended up with severe bruises as a result.

On February 10, 2010 in Murmansk two Jehovah's Witnesses were preaching. A man opened the door of the apartment where the Jehovah's Witnesses were and asked to enter. The man then drunk alcoholic beverages. After locking the door to the apartment, the man then pulled out a weapon (a :cold steel; saber that was 50 cm long). Exposing the blade, he began to threaten to kill the believers. After 30 minutes, the Jehovah's Witnesses were able to leave the residence.

On February 18 in the village of Chunsky (Irkutsk oblast) there was an attack against 2 Jehovah's Witnesses who were preaching. The assailants then fled from the scene of the attack.

Jehova's Witnesses materials. Translated by J. Freeman.