Police looking into verbal attack on head of Estonian Jewish Congregation

Rabbi Shmuel Kot is the head of the Estonian Jewish Congregation.
Rabbi Shmuel Kot is the head of the Estonian Jewish Congregation. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Several Estonian news portals have reported that Rabbi Shmuel Kot, head of the Estonian Jewish Congregation, was verbally attacked on his way to the Tallinn Synagogue on Saturday. According to a friend of Mr Kot, who wrote about the incident on social media, an Estonian-speaking man shouted antisemitic slurs at the rabbi and his family. The police are investigating the incident.

The reason why Mr Kot had not reported the incident right away is that his belief forbids the use of a telephone on shabbat. The incident has since been reported to the police, who are looking into the matter.

"We were in touch with the rabbi earlier today, and we are currently collecting information about the incident," the Police and Border Guard's Kaido Saarniit told ERR on Sunday. "We have identified the alleged assailant and initiated an investigation according to the Penal Code's paragraph on the incitement of hatred."

"Every person has the right to feel safe in the Republic of Estonia," Mr Saarniit added. "In addition to physical attacks, the police is taking verbal attacks as well as the incitement of hatred seriously."

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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