In his letter, the ACJWR chairman noted that his community has been in Russia for more than a century, and that only under Soviet rule did it suffer discrimination and persecution. Now, it is subjected to a process of “demonisation" by some courts with the support of the press.
For Kalin, Medvedev’s article “Russia, Forward”, which appeared in Gazeta.ru, on 10 September of this year, is a source of hope because it refers to the ideals of the separation of state and religion and peaceful coexistence.
Russia’s president, the letter explains, should realise that Jehovah’s Witnesses are present in 236 countries around the world, but that only in 25 is “their freedom of conscience” restricted, nations “famous for the crudest violations of human rights.”
All the community wants is for Medvedev to “guarantee their constitutional rights” and protect them from “bureaucratic arbitrariness”.
Ultimately, “basic rights, for which Jehovah's Witnesses are fighting today, are vitally necessary for the maintenance in Russia of democratic liberties and the construction of civil society”.