13 March 2000
Joint NGO Appeal on Chechnya
8 March 2000, Tokyo
The following joint appeal was signed by NGO representatives at a public meeting in Tokyo, which founded the 'Japan Committee for Peace, Human Rights and Development in Chechnya', following a one-week speaking tour.
Best wishes, Chris Hunter
Urgent Joint Appeal on The Situation In Chechnya
As witnesses of the previous war in Chechnya from 1994-1996 and participants of the anti-war movement we express our deep concern and horror at the present unlimited violence being used by Russian forces against the civilian in Chechnya.
We condemn the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Chechnya and the bombing of villages and towns and other assaults on civilian objects, including hospitals and buildings used for religious purposes. Most of the republic has been destroyed. Medical staff and patients have been shot dead by Russian soldiers.
We condemn the use of prohibited weapons by Russian forces. Having gained control of inhabited areas, Russian forces intimidate the local population, in many cases arresting or executing civilians on the spot. What Russian authorities name an anti-terrorist campaign, is in fact widespread harassment of the civilian population, with no respect for human life and dignity. No civilian in Chechnya can feel safe in any part of their homeland. Freedom of movement within the republic is denied, with special permission demanded by Russian-controlled authorities from every civilian moving from one district of the republic to another.
The mass random arrests, which threaten the local population in every part of Chechnya, lead often to detainment in filtration camps run by Russian forces where beatings, torture, rape and killings are commonplace. The Chechen peace activist Zura Betieva of the Union of Women of Ichkeria was arrested at her home in the Naur district one month ago and has since been held with her son in the filtration camp 'Chiornokozovo'. The Chechen Minister of Health Omar Khambiev and around fifteen members of his medical staff have also been in such a filtration camp since the beginning of February.
200,000 refugees living in Ingushetia face poor conditions and insufficient assistance. Adequate nourishment and medical treatment are particularly lacking.
The Russian Ministry of Emergencies closed down canteens in the refugee camps in February, and supplies of bread for refugees has been reduced in March. We fear this to be part of the pressure being applied by Russian authorities to move refugees back to Chechnya. However most are afraid to return to face harassment by Russian forces, the threat of filtration camps and the continued bombing and raids, and the majority have lost their homes. Internally displaced persons within Chechnya face even worse conditions than in Ingushetia, with almost no help being provided.
Even basics such as electricity, gas for heating and cooking, basic food and medications, are absent. Food for many is in short supply.
We consider the first Chechen war and the present war to be crimes against humanity, peace and civilization. Political and military authorities of the Russian Federation in particular must be held responsible for the crimes that they have committed. The Russian leadership has throughout the war in Chechnya pursued the consistent and systematic policy of genocide, denying any possibility of a peaceful solution to the issue of the Chechen people's right to self-determination.
We call on the international community to:
* denounce clearly the military operation and violation of human rights in Chechnya and increase pressure on the Russian government to halt the military aggression, withdraw troops from Chechnya and conduct peace talks with Chechen authorities, primarily with the democratically elected and legally recognized government of president Aslan Maskhadov, and with a third party to act as a guarantor for agreements reached in negotiations.
* deploy immediately in Chechnya an international monitoring mission, with a mandate from an inter-governmental human rights body such as the UN human rights commission, the Council of Europe or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to monitor and assess all evidence of human rights violations and war crimes. Any further financial loans or assistance to the Russian government should be linked to an agreement on the satisfactory deployment of such a mission.
* establish an international war crimes tribunal to provide a professional legal assessment of war crimes and the violations of international law, and to prosecute those responsible for this.
* provide urgent humanitarian assistance for victims of the war both in Ingushetia and inside Chechnya, channeled through experienced and reliable locally based international or local NGOs, or governmental humanitarian agencies working independently of the Russian authorities, to increase the reliability of its distribution to those who need it.
Madina Magomadova Chairperson, "Mothers of Chechnya" Association,
Viktor Popkov Director, 'Omega' Society,
Chris Hunter Director, Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development
Junsei Teresawa Buddhist monk, 'Nipponzan Myuohoji' Temple
Tadashi Aoyama Director, Citizens Fund for Peace
Nonprofit PR centre "Citizen" - PRCC
Phone/fax: +7 (095) 253-8042
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.good.cnt.ru
January 26, 2000:
Inter-regional Peacemaking Social Organization "Echo of War"
Grozny/Moscow. Tel/fax: +7-095-287-7959. For further contacts see below.
The organizations North Caucasus Union of Women, Echo of War, and the Coordinating Council of International Human Rights Organizations "ORC" ("Alarm") are in possession of reliable information concerning the seizure of peaceful citizens (women and young men) in the Shelkovski and Naurski regions of Chechnya, and their transfer into filtration camps.
Russian soldiers arrested Zura Betieva and her 18-year old son Idris Iduev in their home, Kalinovski State farm in the Naurski region, and took them to an unknown destination.
Zura Betieva was a participant in the 1995 Moscow-Grozny Peace March, and is active in NGO peacemaking work.
The fate of these people remains unknown.
There is evidence that such measures are also being taken against peaceful civilians in other areas of Chechnya. We appeal to international organizations to take appropriate measures with regard to the crimes being committed against absolutely innocent people.
26th January 2000
Nonprofit PR centre "Citizen" - PRCC
Phone/fax: +7 (095) 253-8042
Hunger Strike in Moscow in Solidarity with the People of Chechnya
By Victor Popkov
At 10.00 in the morning on Friday 29 October 1999 a relay hunger strike began in Moscow. Its aim is to show solidarity with the people of Chechnya and those who suffered from terrorist attacks in Moscow and other cities in Russia, to repent for, and to honour all those who have died in the confrontations and crimes born of our indifference and our selfishness.
The organizers hope that they will have the strength to continue their hunger strike until the suppression and destruction of Chechnya and the policy which also harms Russia of increasing interethnic and inter-religious tensions are stopped.
This action is being undertaken by Victor Popkov and Mikhail Roshin, members of the Committee of Russia and Chechnya.
Everyone is welcome to participate Chechens and Russians, Christians and Muslims everyone who wishes to come and to pray collectively for their relatives and friends, for all those who have been taken away from us.
God will be found not in force, but in Truth. (Alexander Nevsky)
Popkov and Roshin have set up their camp in the square next to the building of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, where they hope to stay until 19 December, the date of the parliamentary elections in Russia.
There will be a prayer vigil every Friday at 2.30pm, and anyone wishing to send messages of support can send them to the CPCD office in Moscow.
CONTACT: Nonprofit PR center "Citizen" - PRCC
Phone/fax: +7 (095) 253-8042 E-mail: email@example.com
Light a candle for Chechnya: Nation-Wide Vigils on
Nation-Wide Vigils on 16 December
The Society for Threatened Peoples is writing you to invite you to participate in nation-wide vigils for Chechnya on 16 December 1999, 5 p.m., to set a light for Chechnya.
On the eve of Christmas, we want to demonstrate in public that in our view, the people of Chechnya belong to our common house Europe as well as the Kosovo Albanians do.
On 16 December 1999, at 5 p.m., we will come together and hold vigils in as many German towns and villages as possible, in front of a central church or cathedrale.
We will light candles for the people of Chechnya and hold an hour of commemoration for the victims of Russia´ s latest bombing campaign.
Furthermore, signatures for a protest letter to Prime Minister Putin will be collected.
If you want to take part in our initiative and organise a vigil in your home town or join one,
please turn IMMEDIATELY to:
the Society for Threatened Peoples´ Event Manager Ms. Sandra Schillikowski, Tel. +49/ 551/ 49906-17, Fax +49/ 551/ 58028, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, to obtain further information, practical advice, banners (in German only) and other useful stuff.
Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker - Society for Threatened Peoples - Europe Desk
P.O. Box 2024, D - 37010 Goettingen, Germany
Phone: +49/551/49906-0, Fax: +49/551/58028
E-Mail: email@example.com, Homepage: http://www.gfbv.de/
Prayer Vigil , Moscow
The prayer vigil for Peace in Moscow continues in its the 39-th day today the 6-th of December 1999.
Victor Popkov and Mikhail Roshchin have been joined in the fast by Alexander Gorbenko , former Moscow MM Clerk /QUAKERS/,the Editor of the SPIRITUAL CIRCLE magazine , who have gathered in the hunger strike since the 7-th of November.
Now Popkov and Gorbenko are still in holding a Prayer Vigil in their witness against the inhumanity of war opposing the violence in Russia and Chechnya.They are trying to achieve a humane settlement of the Chechnya conflict.
Today V.Popkov has involved in fasting and prayer the 39-th day and A.Gorbenkothe 30-th day.
They send their Peace message to all who rise their call for Peace through their prayers.
P.S. The Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development /CPCD/ is happy to pass on messageof support the organizers , the hunger strikers and friends of the vigil in Moscow.
For contact:(e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org (for Popkov)
Alternate e-mail:email@example.com or serguei_P@hotmail.com
19 Oct 1999
Russian Human Righst Activists Protest War
The following is an appeal by a group of prominent Russian human rights activists "Common Action", protesting the bombing and the escalation of war in Chechnya...
STOP THE ESCALATION OF WAR IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS!
Appeal of the initiating group "Common Action"
The absence of constructive and stable politics by Russian authorities towards Chechnya has not given the opportunity for the creation of political mechanisms for the peaceful regulation of crises.
The August-September military actions in Dagestan and terrorist acts, which took place in Russian cities, have become the detonator of a new war in the North Caucasus. Attacks on bases of armed extremists served as the cause for the mass bombings of civilian objects and densely populated regions of Chechnya.
In the North Caucasus, a humanitarian catastrophe is developing - a huge stream of displaced people from ruined Chechnya is filling Ingushetia. It should be stressed that this is happening on the eve of winter.
We insist on the immediate creation of adequate conditions, which will allow the reception of refugees escaping from Chechnya because of the bombing!
We are convinced that the fight against terrorists must be conducted exclusively by highly qualified
specialists. The tactics of destroying Chechnya through bombing is leading to a significant number of victims among the peaceful population; people of different nationalities, including Russians.
This will literally add thousands and thousands of new fighters in Chechnya to the ranks of the terrorists. The mass invasion of Chechnya will again force the Russian Command to use rank and file solders, hardly trained, which will bring about huge losses. The new war will be long lasting and bloody, and it is clear that it will not be confined to Chechen territory.
Taking into account all the above mentioned, we appeal to the President of Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation to stop the escalation of war, to stop the bombing of any objects located in inhabited areas of Chechnya.
We call for immediate negotiations with the legitimate Chechen authorities on the basis of
the agreement on the political regulation of the conflict "On the Principles of Peaceful Joint Relations" signed by Presidents Yeltsin and Maskhadov in Moscow 12.05.97, taking into account that the President of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov has condemned terrorist actions and expressed condolence to the victims of the terror.
Separately we appeal to those journalists, who over the last days have spoken increasingly about the necessity and irreversibility of war with Chechnya: Stop! The blood of peaceful people can fall on you!
A new big war in the North Caucasus will bring catastrophic, tragic consequences, which will touch everybody!
Lyudmila Mikhailovna Alekseeeva, Moscow Helsinki Group;
Vyacheslav Ivanovich Bakhmin, Moscow Helsinki Group;
Larisa Iosivna Bogoraz, Human Rights Activist;
Valeriy Vasilievich Borshev, Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation;
Public Committee on Human Rights;
Lyudmila Vsevolodovna Vakhnina, Human Right Centre "Memorial";
Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina, organization "Civic assistance";
Sergey Ivanovich Grigoriants, Public Fund "Glasnost'';
Elena Leonidovna Grishina, Information Centre of the Human Rights Movement;
Piotr Feliksovich Kaznacheev, Russian Public Movement, Anti-Facist Youth Action;
Tatiana Ivanovna Kasatkina, Human Rights Centre "Memorial";
Victoria Vasilevna Malikova, Moscow Helsinki Group;
Malva Noevna Landa, Human Rights Activist;
Karina Akapovna Maskalenko, Centre for International Defense;
Lev Semenovich Levinson, Responsible Secretary of the Public Palace;
Rustam Ramzievich Maksudov, Public Centre "Legislative Reform";
Vladimir Naumovich Oivin, Human Rights Activist;
Oleg Petrovich Orlov, Human Rights Centre "Memorial";
Lev Aleksandrovich Ponomarev, Movement " For People´s Rights"; "Hot Line"";
Yurij Vadimovich Saamodurov, A.Sakharov Museum and Centre;
Marina Evgenievna Salie, "Free Democrats of Russia",
Sergey Egorovich Sorokin, "Movement Against Violence"; Coordinator of "Common Action";
Gleb Pavlovich Yakunin, Committee for the Defense of Freedom of Conscience.
CONTACT: Michael Bogomolov, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (by way of HCA Liaison Office/Tbilisi email@example.com)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
13 Oct 1999
Appeal from women
participants of the first international seminar
for women-leaders from the Southern
To the Secretary General of UN
Chair person of OSCE
President of Russia
We, women from the Caucasus, who came for the first international seminar from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Chechnia, protest against the barbaric bombing in Caucasus, which lead to massive victims among the peaceful population, and against escalation of military actions.
Today once more the villages are burnt, and tanks attack Chechnia, but tomorrow it can be repeated in any other region in the Cauasus.
We appeal to the respectable international organisations, which are responsible for Human Rights,
- to secure rights of peaceful population, to stop immediately military actions,
- to assist for establishment of peace on the base of legal agreements about regulations of situation in Chechnia and on the case of international law,
- to send international observers to the region.
1 October, 1999, Likani (Georgia).
Participants of the first international seminar "Working together networking women-leaders in the Caucasus".
> They should be revoked immediately.
September 29 1999
DECLARATION AGAINST THE WAR IN CHECNYA
OF THE FORMER DISSIDENTS, POLITICAL PRISONERS
OF 60-80 YEARS
In Checnya is war again. The insolent aggression. The war senseless and ruthless. There are the blood, the death, the refugees again. The Articles 2-3, 2-4, 33-1 of the United Nations Statute has trodden roughly. Again the gangster state is feeding the poor citizens of Russia with bullets instead of bread.
Bloody games has devised by Kremlin for pre-election untwisting colourless Putin in the Russia President. For the sake of it blow up the houses, destroy the whole regions.
Once again we remind - plundering of the credits of the International Monetary Fund, laundring up of money through Bank of New York, mass corruption and banditry, war in Checnnya, the explosions of the houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk are the links of the same chain.
We address to a sociality of West, to Russian intellectuals to all Russian people, in whom the feeling of mercy has not died, compassions to an another's pain - help the perishing Chechen people, stop a mortal downpour of rockets.
Former dissidents, political prisoners of 60-80 years:
Andrey Derevyankin, Gederts Melngailis, Adel Naidenovich, Kiril Popov, Michael Kukobaka, Valeria Novodvorskaya, Alexander Zaytsev, Vladimir Ivoylov, Alexander Vorona, Evgeny Froomkin, Valeria Lubimtseva
Adress: apt.125, Pesochny per.,3, Moscow, 107113, Russia
Phone : (095) 268-82-13 Moscow, Russia;
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Letter to Russian WWW Managers
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have to show out our position. Now, when the absolute fall of Russian policy in Chechnya become inevitable I ask you for help in solving of this conflict.
Let us put black pages with slogans to stop this bloodshed instead of our regular Home Pages from 12 of August and keep them for one week.
If this action will have a resonance of "Blue Ribbon Campaign" it will produce an noticable influence on hundred thousands of Russian Internet users, and probably on politicians that should solve this problem.
I attached an example of such a Black Page as a uuencoded gziped file at the end of the letter.
I'd also would like to know about all WWW sites that are ready to join this action (email@example.com)
Institute of Theoretical and