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March 17, 2012

Russian scholars call on Medvedev and Putin to defend Bhagavad Gita

Russian scholars call on Medvedev and Putin to defend Bhagavad Gita

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

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Twenty leading Russian scholars urged Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister, President-elect Vladimir Putin to step in and take the ongoing Bhagavad Gita trial in the Siberian city of Tomsk under “personal control”, saying it “discredits Russia’s cultural and democratic credentials in the eyes of the civilized world”.

Last December, the Tomsk court rejected state prosecutor’s indictment of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, a commented translation of the ancient Hindu classic by the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, as an extremist text. However, in January the Tomsk prosecutor’s office filed an appeal, arguing the commentaries incite “social hatred” and “violence against non-believers” and must be banned as “extremist”. Tomsk region prosecutor Alexander Buksman publicly supported the appeal, saying that the proposed ban on the commentaries rather than on the Hindu text itself was justified, as “it’s important to discern gems form the chatter in this very case”. The appeal is scheduled for hearing on March 20.

In an open letter to the top Russian leaders, the group of eminent Russian scholars of philosophy, philology, and oriental studies strongly denounced the prosecutor’s attempt to dismiss Bhaktivedanta Swami’s commentaries as an extremist distortion of Bhagavad Gita itself, saying that these charges are “untrue and contrary to the traditions of Hinduism”.

“The book does not contain any signs of extremism and does not incite hatred on ethnic, religious or any other grounds. On the contrary, the book written in the commentary tradition of Bengali Vaishnavism, one of the most popular branches of Hinduism, is considered sacred by a section of believers”, the scholars emphasized, warning that the continued trial of the Hindu scripture in Russia is “driving a wedge in Russian-Indian relations.” Similar concerns were voiced earlier at an all-Russian conference at Tomsk State University titled Bhagavad Gita in history and modern society, where scholars expressed perplexity at the prosecutor’s move to declare a translation of the Hindu scripture extremist. Speaking at the conference, Irina Glushkova, chief researcher of the Indian Research Center at the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, stressed that “Bhagavad Gita As It Is has the right to exist as any other commentary or scripture. It is a fundamental principle of Hinduism and there is no any other Hinduism”.

The controversial court case on the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text regarded sacred by millions of Hindus, had already caused political and societal turmoil in India, with the Indian Parliament stalled over the proposed ban and Hindu activists burning Russian flags. The trial also evoked strong criticism from the Russian, Indian, and international media.



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December 29, 2011

Russian court rejects move to ban Hindu scripture

Russian court rejects move to ban Hindu scripture

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

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Hare Krishnas protesting against the ban of their scripture outside the Russian Consulate in Kolkata, India. December 19, 2011.
Image: Cinosaur.

A judge in Tomsk, Russia drew a round of applause from the court room as she dismissed charges of extremism against the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, a Russian commented translation of the Bhagavad Gita published by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This decision put an end to the six-month-long trial of the book accused by the state prosecutors of fostering “social discord” and “incitement to religious hatred”.

The Indian Foreign Ministry, which had been urging Moscow to avert the possible ban they termed as “absurd”, welcomed the verdict calling it “a sensible resolution of a sensitive issue” which “demonstrates yet again that the people of India and Russia have a deep understanding of each other’s cultures and will always reject any attempt to belittle our common civilizational values” and thanked the Russian government for their support. Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Mahotra also stated that the court decision “deserves to be applauded”.

The controversial court case on the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text regarded sacred by millions of Hindus, had threatened to become a stumbling block in traditionally strong Indo-Russian relations as it caused political and societal turmoil in India, with the Indian Parliament stalled over the proposed ban and Hindu activists burning Russian flags. The trial also evoked strong criticism from the international media.



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December 20, 2011

Indian Parliament irate as Russia poised to ban Bhagavad Gita

Indian Parliament irate as Russia poised to ban Bhagavad Gita

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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Members of the Indian Parliament across party lines urged the Indian government to protect the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most sacred Hindu texts, from a legal ban in Russia.

Hindu followers rallied in front of the Kolkata Russian consulate protesting the ban. Thousands signed an on-line petition to stop the trial, and the hashtag #Gita surged to a leading trend in Indian cyberspace. Accused of fostering extremism and “social discord” by the Tomsk, Siberia state prosecutors office, Bhagavad Gita As It Is, a translation of the ancient poem admired by Leo Tolstoy and Albert Einstein, now faces the prospect of ending up on Russia’s Federal List of Extremist Materials – along with Hitler’s Mein Kampf – and being banned from distribution.

Reporting to the Parliament on the issue, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna Tuesday denounced the trial as a “patently absurd” action of “some ignorant and misdirected or motivated individuals” and assured the House that his Ministry has taken up the issue with senior Russian authorities, hoping for an appropriate resolution. S. M. Krishna also referred to the Gita as “one of the defining treatises of Indian thought” saying that it “describes the very soul of our great civilization”.

On a similar note, Russian Ambassador to India Alexandr Kadakin condemned the court case as “categorically inadmissible” and called its instigators “madmen”.

The court’s ruling on the matter is expected on December 28.



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March 22, 2007

Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium

Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

On January 2nd, Wouter Van Bellingen became the first black registrar in Belgium.

When Wouter Van Bellingen became the first black registrar in Belgium, he knew there would be negative reactions, but he admitted that he didn’t expect them to be “so direct, so soon.” In February, three couples refused to pledge their wedding vows in front of the first black alderman of the city of Sint-Niklaas, because of the colour of his skin. After the racist incident, Van Bellingen told himself: “If people don’t want to marry, then that’s not my problem, it’s the problem of those people.”

But then someone gave him the idea to react with a positive signal against racial discrimination. Together with local NGOs and the Center for Equal Opportunities and against Racial Discrimination, he decided to organise a multicultural group marriage happening to, as mayor of Sint-Niklaas Freddy Willockx describes it, “forge this stupid racist behaviour into an unparallelled positive signal against racism and for tolerance.”

A positive signal against racism

Wouter Van Bellingen with on his left side mayor Freddy Willockx.

Mayor Willockx told the press about when he first heard about the 3 couples: “I was angry and ashamed that there were such people.” He elaborated: “We are not a racist city. 400 meters from here is a center for immigrants, which was installed without contestation from the city council, in spite of fruitless attempts from an intolerant party to set people up against installation of the center.”

When asked about the role of the far-right political party Vlaams Belang, Van Bellingen told Wikinews: “It’s true that a climate of fear has been created, but to blame it on a single party would be too easy. It’s the responsibility of all parties.” Van Bellingen wants to be the councilor of civilian affairs for all citizens, “not just for those who voted for me.”

Although Van Bellingen too denies Sint-Niklaas is a racist city, he is often reminded of the colour of his skin. Mayor Willockx gave the example of an incident last Friday, when someone refused to serve him a plate of mussels, because the person mistook the deputy for a waiter.

It started small

A spokeswoman for the organising committee told the press that it all started with a “nice little idea” to have a mass wedding event on March 21, the U.N.-declared International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, they were “really surprised that the event became something huge.”

Couples who wanted to renew their vows or pledge them for the first time could register on the event website. Stijn De Maeyer, a volunteer working on the registrations, told Wikinews that they had to close the online registration when some 692 couples had registered, because of logistic limitations. On the evening itself, he estimated that 1 out of 3 couples who showed up hadn’t registered beforehand. There were couples from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and even a couple from Norway. Some of the Belgian couples were immigrants from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Kosovo, according to De Maeyer.

The couples

Kiss in front of the City Hall of Sint-Niklaas.

While singer Axl Peleman, who demonstrated his concern about racial discrimination in Flanders on the 0110 concerts last October, opened the podium, the couples began to register on the city’s Market Square.

Sint-Niklaas gaat vreemd 6.jpg

The symbolic wedding pledge was open to anyone, from any culture, age, or sexual preference. For Van Bellingen, “Every person who lives in Flanders is Flemish, it doesn’t matter if you live here for a month or for generations.”

The couples were from all ages and all layers of society. Some came in their original wedding costume or dress, to relive the moment of their marriage. Even a group of children from a local primary school came to vow eternal fidelity to a classmate.

Sint-Niklaas gaat vreemd 12.jpg

One duo queuing for the registration were two undercover reporters from the Dutch television, who wanted to become “the two first heterosexual men to be wed by a black registrar in Belgium”. At the end of the evening, they threw their wedding bouquet off the main stage, shouting: “Whoever catches this, is not a racist.”

Multicultural activities during the event

Drummers from the group “The African Stage”.

Van Bellingen enjoys some of the Arab tea.

Several organisations promoting diversity provided free soup and Arab mint tea to warm the attendees in the rain and cold. Ahmed Hanouch from the sociocultural youth organisation Hidâya told Wikinews: “As new Belgians, we all are looked at differently from time to time. Then we get the feeling we are second-class citizens. The solution is to be open-minded about cultures, like during this event.”

For Ahmed, an event like this one would be welcome each year. Van Bellingen however told the press: “At the end of the evening, I will drink a pint, and get on with my life.”

On the main stage, several performers from the collective “The African Stage” entertained the growing crowd. Speeches, songs and dancing strengthened the message of diversity that the organisation wanted to send.

Several comedy acts followed, such as “Joeri”, a Flemish television character. To warm up the crowd to say “I do”, he set the example for registrar Van Bellingen by wedding a special couple; who lived in Sint-Niklaas with their children and who are both deaf. Joeri was assisted by an interpreter for the deaf, who was present all day at the request of Van Bellingen, whose father became deaf some years before he died.

The 5 challenges

This Turkish man and his Roma colleague pose in front of a cake with a black and white hand shaking, a symbol for the event.

From left to right: the interpreter for the deaf, the deaf couple, Joeri and host Dimitri Leue, known in Flanders from the culture project W@=D@ .

Wouter and his wife.

The culmination of the event came when Van Bellingen held a final speech on the stage, and then started with the symbolic wedding ceremony. He built up the excitement during his speech, explaining that “excitement is important in a relationship.”

The ceremony was planned for about 8 p.m., but was postponed to allow as many as possible of the couples that turned up to register. Van Bellingen then joined in holy matrimony well over 700 couples. He then demonstrated to the couples how to kiss the bride, by kissing his own wife, with whom he has 2 children. The next challenge, a big group hug on the Market Square, wasn’t a problem after the kisses.

At that moment, the Flemish radio station Radio 2 took over and started a live DJ set, playing the songs the couples had voted for. The number one wedding dance wasn’t Bryan Adams or Clouseau, but Ik hou van u (I love you) by Noordkaap, a song that already proved popular in 2005 when it was reworked for the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the state of Belgium.

For the final challenge, those who like international food could select from the wedding buffet, with desserts provided by local communities such as the Turkish, Syrian, Moroccon and Roma societies, by organisations such as the Red Cross immigration center. There were also desserts from Mexico, Chile and from the Hare Krishna. Together with a wedding cake for 750 people, the organisation hoped to provide for enough desserts for all present, and to end the wedding party in beauty.

The event in pictures

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February 6, 2007

Further demolition of Hare Krishna homes in Kazakhstan seems imminent

Further demolition of Hare Krishna homes in Kazakhstan seems imminent

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

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Official pressure on the Hare Krishna community near Almaty in Kazakhstan is mounting, according to Norwegian religious rights organisation Forum 18. Following on from the demolition of homes at the end of last year three more home owners have been issued with demolition notices. If the owners fail to demolish their own houses the authorities have warned they will do so themselves and charge them for the cost.

Thirteen homes owned by members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness were bulldozed last November, although other homes in the village owned by non-Hare Krishna residents were not touched. Gauhar Beyeseyeva of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying (to the members of the Hare Krishna commune) “We were denied the OSCE chairmanship specifically because of you people.”

Amanbek Muhashov, the chair of the committee for religion under the justice ministry told the Kazakh daily Kazakhstanskaya Pravda that some of the group members acquired land for the settlements by giving misleading information and thus the property did not conform to local regulations. This is refuted by the members of the community.

The OSCE’s Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion or Belief examined the dispute in detail last year and concluded that “state sponsored action has been focused upon members of the Hare Krishna community in a manner that suggests they have been targeted on the basis of their religious affiliation,” and that “this raises serious issues regarding the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and belief.” The Advisory Council also stated its “willingness to meet with the Kazakh authorities in order to discuss the situation and to extend its good offices to assist in the resolution of that dispute”. The Kazakh authorities have thus far given no official answer to the Advisory Council’s 27 November 2006 offer.

A. Kravchenko, the head of the prosecutor-generals denied any “religious implications” in the legal proceedings.

On 29 January Viktor Golous, Chair of the Hare Krishna Community, was summoned to a court hearing to continue the case on the ownership of the commune’s farm. At the same time, demolition notices were served on three more Hare Krishna home owners, who were told that they must demolish their own homes within five days. According to Forum 18 no previous notices had been given to any of the three Hare Krishna targets in regards to any claims filed against them, court hearings or court rulings. Thus they were unable to file an appeal and defend their property.

Golous appeared in court on January 30th with request that that – due to the short notice given – the hearing should be adjourned at least until lawyers were able to appear. Judge Jurhan Zhailybayev accepted the application for an adjournment and told Golous that he could leave as notice of the new date of the hearing would be sent to him. However, after Golous left the court, Judge Zhailybayev ruled – with only one of the three defendants present – that the Hare Krishna-owned farm should, in fact, be confiscated.

Members of the ‘Sri Vrindavan Dharm’ community in Karasai district question who is benefiting from the confiscation of their property?

Rati Manjari of the Hare Krishnas told Forum 18 on January 20th that “by this new claim the authorities are preparing to cancel a 2005 Supreme Court decision that the Hare Krishna community are the bona fide purchaser and user of the land.” She suggested that the authorities plan – “after they win this case” – to appeal to the Supreme Court to annul the Hare Krishna community’s purchase and thus ownership of the land.

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  • “International response to demolition of Hare Krishna property in Kazakhstan” — Wikinews, December 12, 2006
  • “Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan – fears of further demolition” — Wikinews, November 29, 2006
  • “Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged” — Wikinews, November 24, 2006

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December 12, 2006

International response to demolition of Hare Krishna property in Kazakhstan

International response to demolition of Hare Krishna property in Kazakhstan

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

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The American Embassy in Kazakhstan has condemned the destruction by Kazakh riot police of eleven homes within a Hare Krishna village. The destruction took place on November 21st in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan and has been termed unjust treatment of the religious group.

“The forceful eviction of homeowners in freezing temperatures and the destruction of their possessions contradicted principles of due process and fairness,” the US Embassy said in a December 7 statement.

The Embassy further urged authorities to cease “further aggressive actions” and instead seek a peaceful conclusion to ongoing legal disputes with Hare Krishnas concerning the land.

Officials from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the U.S. had previously called for an international response to the November 21 demolition of 13 homes, and a range of groups have condemned it, including the British Parliament and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The US State Department’s 2005 International Religious Freedom Report cited instances of “continued local government and police harassment” reported by Hare Krishnas in Kazakhstan. It reported that over 50% of the country’s population is historically Muslim but the republic includes congregations of Russian Orthodox, Baptists and other Christian and religious groups.

Ironically the original demolition of the Hare Krishna homes occurred on the same day President Nursultan Nazarbayev was in London for a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair seeking his support for Kazakhstan’s bid to be the OSCE chairman-in-office in 2009. In London, some 10,000 members of Britain’s Hindu community protested the demolition of the Hare Krishna property in Kazakhstan.

This was not the first time Kazakh authorities have attempted to confiscate the Hare Krishna community’s land. In April 2006, Kazakh authorities had tried to bulldoze the homes, but retreated in the presence of journalists.

In an official statement issued after the demolition event, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent federal agency, expressed concern about the treatment of Hare Krishnas.

“Recent steps against the Hare Krishnas and members of other religious communities indicate that the government of Kazakhstan, regrettably, is moving in the wrong direction with regard to respecting the universal right to freedom of religion or belief,” said Felice D. Gaer, chair of the Commission.

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November 29, 2006

Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan – fears of further demolition

Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan – fears of further demolition

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A number of properties in a Hare Krishna village in Kazakhstan were demolished on November 21, by the local authorities, causing international outrage by religious freedom groups and Hindu associations alike. Since the attack fears are now rising within the community of further demolition to the remaining properties, including the main temple structure.

“The community is in shock, but they are determined to defend their homes and place of worship,” community member Govinda Swami told Forum 18 News Service. He says destruction of the temple would be “devastating”.

The authorities in Kazaksthan claim that the Hare Krishna devotees had no official right to their homes. However human rights activists Ninel Fokina and Andrei Grishin, state in reply that while 13 out of the 66 Hare Krishna homes were destroyed on court orders, “the adjacent houses of other people who do not belong to the Society for Krishna Consciousness were left untouched even though their title deeds have the same status”.

The Hare village itself, known as ‘Sri Vrindavan Dham commune’ (named after Vrindavan forest in India is based in the Keskelen district, in the town of Seleksia, close to Almaty. It was the only village of it’s type run by Hare Krishna devotees in the country.

According to human rights activist Yevgeni Zhovtis: “Unfortunately Kazakh law does not prohibit evictions during the winter period and also does not oblige the court bailiffs to give those being evicted a few days notice,” “All the same, there were crude violations of the law. The court bailiffs had the right to evict the residents of the houses but not to demolish the buildings themselves. It was also a very crude violation to throw the belongings of the Krishna devotees into the mud. The court bailiffs were obliged to put the devotees’ belongings into store.”

Local journalist Grishin claims to have had his camera confiscated by the Police and to have been threatened “If I see you here again, I will personally smash your eyes, even though I am the hakim.”

Protests are being made by Hindu groups and members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness around the world in an attempt to halt any further demolition or other forms of alleged religious persecution. Groups within the UK have brought the issue to the attention of both Tony Blair, and the House of Commons.

One of the Indian political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the central government for keeping silence over the issue. The party is expected to follow the saffron brotherhood agenda in the second term of Rajnath Singh.

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November 24, 2006

Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged

Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged

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Friday, November 24, 2006

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An ongoing struggle in Kazakhstan between the authorities and a local Hindu village has turned serious. Forum 18 has been documenting the alleged human rights abuse regarding the Hare Krishna village for some time, but as of 21st November events took a drastic turn.

The following was seen and written by Ninel Fokina, president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee, and Andrei Grishin, official member of the International Bureau of Human Rights and Law Observance:

On November 21, 2006 at 1 pm the information was received that according to the court decision to evict the members of the religion organization International Society for Krishna Consciousness from the occupied land near Sri Vrindavan Dham farm, and the demolition of 13 country houses will begin immediately.

Heavy equipment was brought to the suburban community: trucks, demolition machines, three busses with riot policemen, a bus with demolition squad and the local authorities including the Hakim. Electricity was disconnected in the morning of the same day.

There were only women and children in the village. All men went to work in town.

The president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee Ninel Fokina tried to contact different officials in Astana (the capital): B. Baikadamov, the envoy of human rights, B. Muhamedjanov, the minister for internal affairs I. Bakhtibayev, the assistant General Prosecutor; R. Aliev, the deputy minister for foreign affairs.

She had a conversation with B. Baikadamov, the only person she could reach at that time, who promised to communicate to the Committee of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Court Administration Committee which includes the department of court decision execution.

At 3 pm representatives of human rights organizations: Ninel Fokina, Andrei Grishin, and Maxim Varfolomeev, press-secretary of the Society for Krishna Consciousness, plus, a journalist and representative of Astana TV channel left for the village which is located 40 km from Almaty.

All the roads to village were closed and patrolled by police. They would not let anyone go through. The human rights representatives and the journalist took detour through the fields. It was snowing, but they were able to reach the border of the village because of the four-wheel-drive jeep they were traveling in. But even that road was closed by patrol.

The jeep was not allowed to drive into the village. The patrol explained it was instruction of authorities. When Grishin and the jeep driver tried to pass by walk they were stopped and threatened to be put in handcuffs. And the patrol promised to send for additional force.

Lieutenant colonel, who came with another patrol car, explained that they are not allowed to the village for their own safety. He said that at that time the electric line was being dismounted in the area.

The driver of the jeep had his wife and two months old daughter in the village. He was begging to let him go through, but his request was denied. He was told that safety is guaranteed to his family. This group could still enter the village. They approached it from the other detour road, and leaving the car on the sidewalk, one by one they entered the village.

As they approached the village they met two small groups of young people who were not drunk but unnaturally exited.They held hammers, big dumb-bells, metal crow-bars and sticks. Two of them politely greeted the group, and one said gaily, “Your houses are finished.

Four big busses with toned windows and two cars of ambulance were parked at the entrance of the village in the grove. 30-40 policemen stood by the houses, and 20-30 people in civil clothes including the leaders of the district with the Hakim, the head of local executive authority stood on the street, watching the demolition.

It was snowing. Residents’ household stuff such as mattresses, blankets, utensils cookware, and furniture were laying outside on the lawns by their houses. People in construction outfits (labor people) got inside the houses and started crushing windows and doors, destroying walls. The bulldozer was demolishing the buildings and the big stone fencing with cast iron openwork lattice which separated the houses from the driving area.

A small group of inhabitants (20-30 people, mostly women) did not offer physical resistance. One of the women felt dizzy, fell down and was picked up by the ambulance. Police was bringing down those few (basically women) who tried to interfere with the destruction of their property. Two men tried to prevent the entrance of destroyers into a house, but were brought down by 15 policemen who twisted their hands and took them away to the police car.

During all these events none of the representatives from the Office of Public Prosecutor were present at the place of the event, even though both Krishna people and legal service people demanded meeting with representatives of the Office of Public Prosecutor who are obligated to be present during this type of actions.

The Hakim of the Yetisu district who was personally responsible for this action noticed A. Grishin photographing the destruction of the houses using a digital camera and commanded the policemen to detain him. A. Grishin is an officer of the Human Rights Bureau and a journalist.

To avoid confiscation of the camera A. Grishin tried to escape. He ran away by 200 meters and was caught by the police. Police officers confiscated his digital camera and took away his journalist certificate.

Then he was let free, but police refused to return the camera, saying that they would give it to the Hakim. The camera was indeed found in the car of the Hakim, but the flash card and the batteries were confiscated. When Grishin approached the Hakim to find out for what reason his camera and his journalist ID were confiscated, the Hakim told in front of the witnesses, “If I see you here again, I will personally crash Your eyes, even though I am the Hakim.”

No one of the policemen, who took part in the camera and ID confiscation, wanted to reveal their names.

Ms. Fokina was able to talk with the assistant of the General prosecutor I. Bakhtibayev, who did confirm that he would contact the prosecutor of the province and he would work out this situation.

The envoy of human rights E. Baikadamov, who was also contacted, said that the president of the Court Administration Committee Z. Makashev confirmed that he would contact immediately the provincial department and would give the appropriate instructions.

All the attempts of the representatives of the human rights organizations to find the people in charge of the operation and give them any information were unsuccessful.

All the present officials refused to speak and declared that they were not responsible for the action. The Police colonels would point at bailiffs. The bailiffs did not confirm their being bailiffs.

The OSCE representatives in Almaty Eugenia Benigni and Lisa Zhumakhmetova did not make it to the village. Their car just was stoped by police.

When the darkness fell, at around 6 pm, everything was finished: 13 houses destroyed, people thrown to the snowbound street, the village left without electricity, without heat and water.

The condition of the witnesses can be described as shock. The condition of the people who were thrown from their destroyed houses to the dirt and snow cannot be described.

When all the 13 buildings were destroyed as was planned … while the adjacent houses of other people who do not belong to the Society for Krishna Consciousness were left untouched even though their title deeds have the same status … the bailiffs decided to give an interview to the TV channel “to avoid one-sided opinion.” However no one of them introduced himself. The only thing they could say, “we are executing the court decision.”

Neither the Hakim, nor the police chiefs, nor the bailiffs would listen to the arguments that the governmental commission established to solve the issue around the Society for Krishna Consciousness has not yet come to final decision.

Notice: the notifications of eviction and demolition of the 13 houses owned by members of the cottage cooperative, who are the members of the religious organization Society for Krishna Consciousness, were delivered to the watchman of Sri Vrindavan Dham in the evening of November 20. The date of execution and the period for evacuating the buildings were not stated. It should be noted that the acting Kazakh law does not stipulate such a kind of eviction as the demolition of houses, and the eviction should be accompanied by the inventory of property removed from the evacuated building, while the storage of this property should be provided is necessary.

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