Attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses from September to November 2009

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 on Jehovah's Witnesses from September to November 2009 in different regions of Russia.

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

On September 12 2009 Jehovah's Witnesses were attacked in Zvenigorod. An unidentified man driving a car approached a several Jehovah's Witnesses and, after realizing that they were Jehovah's Witnesses, he said (with a great deal of profanity), :Get out of this town! We have already burned your room! All of you-get out of here; clear off so that I will never see you people again!; The man then struck one of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the face.

In October, 2009 in the village of Shorokhova (Tyumen Oblast), the private house of two married Jehovah's Witnesses who are both elderly was vandalized. At 10:00 PM, the unidentified perpetrators smashed the window of the house by throwing stones at it. When the elderly man stepped out of the house in order to ascertain who the perpetrator(s) was, he saw a large white poster of the local Russian Orthodox Church attached to the gates surrounding the house.

On October, 19 2009 in the village of Chemodanovka (Penzenskaya Oblast), a pupil whose parents are both Jehovah's Witnesses was attacked at school. This happened after a program about Jehovah's Witnesses was broadcast on 3 local television stations. The pupil was struck in the face by a fellow classmate. While committing the offense, the perpetrator said, :you are a sectarian.;

On November, 14 2009, two female Jehovah's Witnesses visited a woman who had expressed an interest in the Bible. After learning that the woman was occupied, the Jehovah's Witnesses started to leave. At this point, one of the believers, an 84 year old woman, was attacked by an unidentified man. The man began to push and kick her; he then punched her in the face with his fist. The assailant was the father of the woman who the Jehovah's Witnesses were trying to visit.

On November, 28 in the village of Tarasovsky (Rostovskaya Oblast), two Jehovah's Witnesses were preaching on the street. A man approached them with a rifle and shouted, :I will shoot! You need to have your heads blown off!; The believers fled. On December 8 2009, the authorities formally decided not to initiate criminal proceedings in response to the incident.

On November, 30 in Voronezh several drunken men attacked two Jehovah's Witnesses. The believers were injured. After arriving at the scene of the crime, the police detained the assailants. A statement was filed with the police in response to the incident.

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