Belarusian Hindu Come Under Fire 11:23, 28/08/2002
Belarusian Helsinki Committee received a complaint from the followers of the Hindu religion, members of the spiritual community of shaiva-shakts “Light of Kailasa” with a petition about the persecution and violation of their rights for the freedom of faith and freedom of expression.
On July 13, 2002 police detained in one of the Minsk parks 19 members of the Belarusian spiritual community “Light of Kailasa”, who were going someplace to carry out their religious ceremonies. All of them, including a pregnant woman and a disabled person were under threats by force delivered into the Frunzensky district police and charged with unsanctioned picketing. 18 persons faced detention protocols. 14 people were further driven to the detention center and stayed there up until July 15. They all went on hunger-strike.
Devotees of this Belarusian community have been many times subject to harassment for confessing Hindu faith. These persecutions include a ban on conducting religious ministries, libel in media, physical beatings, evictions and raids.
The spiritual Hindu community pleads with the public to protect them from the state lawlessness and enable them to freely believe in what they want.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee protests against the blatant violation of a right for personal safety, safety of one’s home, freedom of faith, convictions and their free expression and condemns growing conflicts on religious grounds.