Rivne Inter-Church Council condemn anti-Semitic attack
The Inter-Church Council of Rivne on Friday issued an appeal to the police, authorities and public regarding the attack on the Head of the Jewish Society Hesed Osher, Hennady Frayerman. They express concern over the fact that this is the third incident in four months against Jewish people. Civic activists are demanding that the criminal investigation be reclassified as falling under Article 161 (liability for incitement to racial enmity).
Mr Frayerman says that he was set upon on 21 September by young people standing outside the Synagogue. This came the day after he appeared as a witness in a court case against young people accused of desecrating the Sosonki Clearing in June which holds a mass grave of Jewish people murdered during World War II
When Mr Frayerman came out together with his driver and two woman, he noticed the young people and asked who they were looking for. They answered “Jews”.
He replied that he was Jewish, they – that they “hate Jews”, and hit him on the head. “I fell, five of them attacked me. My driver Oleh rushed to help, they hit him in the face and eye. People from the building began shouting and they went off. They didn’t run away, but quietly walked away”, Mr Frayerman recounts.
Four of the five assailants were picked up on the CCTV cameras. A police unit came immediately however there is still no record of the incident on the police press service’s daily account. A spokesperson for the police said they see the action as “hooliganism”, and this is the article under which the Prosecutor’s Office has initiated a criminal investigation. They are clearly focusing on the fact that the driver was also beaten up, although it is clear from Mr Frayerman’s account that he was not the target.
Unlike the police, the Church Council sees the incident as an act of anti-Semitism. As well as the desecration at the Sosonki Clearing, there was also an attack on the Rabbi in August and another exactly one year ago.
Serhiy Museyevych from the All-Ukrainian Spiritual Council expressed concern over the authorities’ tolerance of skinheads.
From a report
The Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust (on the site of a mass grave) at the Sosonki Clearing was desecrated in June this year