For Immediate Release
July 14, 2010
Brazen predawn attack on house of worship in Kabardino-Balkaria
A wave of harassment unleashed in Russia leads to dramatic consequences
NARTKALA, Kabardino-Balkaria—Unidentified masked assailants beat up the watchmen inside a place of worship, and after the watchmen lost consciousness, the intruders poured out ten liters of flammable liquid and set the building on fire. Fortunately one of the watchmen regained consciousness, pressed an alarm to alert a monitoring agency, and put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The incident occurred on the morning of June 8, 2010.
On arrival, security personnel called the Ministry of Emergency Situations, an ambulance, and the police. The watchmen sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized.
The place of worship, which is located on a central street in the city and has a total seating capacity of 500, serves as a location for religious meetings for four local communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although the Witnesses maintain friendly relations with the neighbors, the building has frequently been the object of vandalism by unidentified persons who have left pro-Fascist graffiti on the walls. The watchmen report that in recent times suspicious vehicles have been parked alongside the building, with the people inside the cars carefully watching the building.
There have been nearly 300 recorded incidents of ill-treatment and harassment against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia since the December 8, 2009, RF Supreme Court decision in the Taganrog LRO case.
In Russia: Grigoriy Martynov, tel. +7 812 702 2691
In USA: J.R. Brown, tel. +1 718 560 5600