On the terrorist acts in the USA


(Statement of Russian human rights protection organizations)

We assess the terrorist acts committed on 11 September in New York and Washington as a crime without precedent. The organizers of this horrible action chose the peaceful population as a victim, and they did it with premeditation. The consequences of the conception of ‘collective responsibility’ in its worst version were demonstrated to the entire world. We, together with the American people, mourn for the perished and sympathize with the victims.

We believe that the US people and government will find a dignified retort to the terrorists in this tragic situation, and will not disgrace themselves with primitive revenge and acts of ‘collective retaliation’.

We endorse the intention to unite the efforts of all democratic countries in the struggle with international terrorism pronounced by the heads of different countries.

At the same time we cannot help being worried by some utterances made public in mass media by a number of political commentators and public figures, both in Russia and abroad. We repudiate so-called simple solutions of complicated problems. We repudiate the conjecture of the ‘global Islamic plot’, confusing such different phenomena as international terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, barbarous rule of Talibs in Afghanistan, dictatorships in Iraq and Libya, the war in Chechnya, conflicts on the Balkans, the Arabic-Israeli conflict, etc. We protest against the attempts to use the American tragedy for unleashing religious and interethnic enmities, in particular, for the propaganda of hate to Moslem peoples. These attempts will not make the world safer.

We, Russian human rights protectors, are specially worried by the easily anticipated intentions to use the new situation in the world for justifying forceful methods of solving the Chechen problem. Our viewpoint underwent no changes: the only way out of the Chechen dead-end is the peaceful negotiations. It is forceful methods that obligatorily imply the escalation of terrorism.

The terrorist attack was directed not only against the American cities. The war is declared against the base of the modern civilization: principles of liberty, democracy, human rights. If peoples and leaders of democratic countries hearkened to the irresponsible appeals and forgot their principles, then the terrorist would be considered as winners in this war.

Moscow, 12-14 September 2001

Sergey Kovalev, Arseniy Roginskiy, Aleksandr Daniel, Elena Zhemkova, Oleg Orlov on behalf of the Russian organization ‘Memorial’

Elena Bonner, Yuri Samodurov – the Sakharov Public center and museum;

Lev Ponomarev — all-Russian movement ‘For human rights’

Svetlana Gannushkina — Organization for aid to refugees and enforced displaced persons ‘Civil assistance’

Larisa Bogoraz;

Ludmila Alekseyeva, Viktoriya Malikova – Moscow Helsinki group;

Yuli Rybakov, a deputy of the State Duma of Russian Federation;

Sergey Yushenkov, a deputy of the State Duma of Russian Federation;

Yulia Goriacheva, Ida Kuklina, valentina Melnikova – Union of Russian committees of soldiers’ mothers;

Mara Poliakova, Sergey Pashin – Independent expert and juridical council;

Father Gleb Yakunin -- Public committee for protecting the freedom of consciousness;

Mikhail Arutiunov – International Assembly;

Aleksandr Luboslavkiy – magazine ‘Protection of human rights and freedoms’.

The collection of signatures is being continued.

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