The appeal of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection


The tragic events in Moscow showed for the umpteenth time that Russian authorities absolutely do not care for human life. The storm, in the result of which, according to the official data, 117 hostages perished and several dozens of people still stay in the intense care wards in the very grave condition, this storm is called by these authorities a brilliant anti-terrorist operation and the only possibility to save the hostages. How may such an operation be called brilliant, if so many people were killed, if doctors were not informed in time how to neutralize the effect of the gas, with which the hostages were poisoned, and were not provided with the necessary medical drugs? The killing of the unconscious terrorists poisoned with the gas may be regarded only as barbarity. In a civilized country they would be disarmed and tried for their crimes, but not killed on the spot.

Neither the Russian President nor his plenipotentiary representatives even tried to begin any negotiations with the terrorists, as it is done in other countries. In 1996 in Peru, for example, the revolutionists from the MRTA captured about 500 hostages in the Japanese embassy. The government carried on the negotiations with the terrorists for more than four months, and only when all the opportunities were exhausted and the operation was thoroughly prepared, the hostages were released; only one woman died from heart attack. Yet, in Russia it was a primitive storm without any attempts to reach some consent. The official sources lie that there was no other way out, that the terrorist began to shot their captives, while only one person died of a firearm wound, all the others -- as a result of the poisoning.

The concealment of the truthful information about the terrorist act and its consequences, the barefaced lie about the number of the victims and the reasons of their death, the prohibition to the hostages staying in the hospital to meet their relatives – all these facts are the brutal violations of human rights, which may not be excused.

We learned that during the anti-terrorist operation three Ukrainian citizens perished. We believe that the Ukrainian authorities must denounce the brutal actions of the Russian special services and conduct the independent investigation of the fact of the death of our compatriots.

We are astonished with the position of a part of the world community, which, without any analysis of the reasons and consequences of the terrorist act in Moscow, hurried to congratulate the Russian government with the victory. It seems that the Western world does not understand that the terrorist act of 11 September in the USA and the terrorist act in Moscow are caused by different reasons. Alas, the special services of Russia proved that they value the human right for life not more than the terrorists.

Terrorism is a terrible disease of the new millenium. All the people throughout the world must jointly oppose terrorism. Terrorist acts may not be justified, in particular we are not going to excuse the cruel actions of the Chechen terrorists. However, the Russian authorities to a certain extent provoked the tragedy in Moscow with their inhumane policy in Chechnya, the policy, which one may easily call genocide. Russia becomes more and more estranged from the norms acceptable for civilized countries. Unfortunately, many Western politicians pretend not to notice this situation, but the history of the 20th century obviously demonstrated that such position is very dangerous.

Terrorism must be extirpated mercilessly, but it is inadmissible to declare the whole people responsible for actions of some individual fanatics, like it happens now in Chechnya. The war in Chechnya must be stopped, otherwise the terrorist acts will repeat again and again. Violence causes new, greater, violence.

28 October 2002

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