Russian activist takes up Jehovah's Witnesses' cause


TV2, 17 June 2019


A citizen activist, Asya Shulbaeva, staged a solitary picket in support of members of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses are an organization that is forbidden in Russia and declared to be extremist.


The Tomsk woman carried a placard: "Nazis sent Jehovah's Witnesses to the camps. From whom are we learning?" Asya Shulbaeva sewed to her clothing a purple triangle, which the nazis marked Jehovah's Witnesses with in concentration camps.


"I do not belong to the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I consider that it is necessary to stand in their defense," Asya Shulbaeva explained. "No totalitarian regime likes the Witnesses. Why do I have a purple triangle? Because the nazis marked them in this way when they sent them to concentration camps. Why did they send them? Because Jehovah's Witnesses refused to serve in the army. They refused to raise their arms in the nazi greeting. They were sent to Auschwitz and to other camps, but they did not renounce their faith. Under the U.S.S.R. they were exiled to Siberia. Only in the 90s were the Jehovah's Witnesses given relief and they were officially registered as a religious organization. Two years ago they were ruled to be an extremist community, for completely stupid reasons. How can you call people extremist whose faith does not permit them to bear arms? Whose faith does not permit them to use force? So they are strange, but they are completely harmless and they do not interfere with anybody. If you don't come out for these people now, then tomorrow will come the turn of the Baptists, Adventists, Mormons, and whoever else in general."


It was reported earlier that a member of the local organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, Sergei Klimov, will stand trial on a charge of "arranging the activity of an extremist organization." His case will be considered in the October district court.


We add that according to statistics of representatives of the Jehovah's Witnesses, there are now 38 persons in custody in Russia and more than 200 adherents have been processed as subjects in extremism cases. The activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses is forbidden in China, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and in a number of other countries. (tr. by PDS, posted 18 June 2019)

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