Non-Jehovah's Witnesses demonstrators on streets of northern capital


by Tatyana Voltskaya

Radio Liberty, 23 March 2019


About a dozen activists came out onto Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg on Saturday to participate in picketing in defense of members of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which is considered in Russia to be extremist.


In the opinion of the activists, people are being persecuted for their faith and persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in contemporary Russia is like the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in nazi Germany and the stalinist U.S.S.R. The protesters see a direct link between operation Sever [North] for the mass deportation to Siberia of families of Jehovists in 1951 and the actions of law enforcement agencies in Surgut in February of this year.


The activists call special attention to the fact that in Surgut, as repeatedly reported in news media, torture was used during which the detainees were required to testify against one another.


Today's demonstration was held under the slogan "Torture, arrests, seizure of property of Jehovah's Witnesses—not in our name!" As a symbol of their demonstration the activists used a purple triangle, a sign that Jehovah's Witnesses wore in nazi prison camps. The activists distributed pins with such a triangle to passers-by. (tr. by PDS, posetd 25 March 2019)

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