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03.09.2008

Beslan: four years and no answers

   

It is four years today since the storming of the school in Beslan where over 1100 children, their parents and grandparents, as well as the school staff, had been held hostage since the morning of 1 September.

331 people died, over half of them children.

Nobody has convincingly explained why tanks and heavy artillery were used or why there are suspiciously diverging views as to whether the explosion which supposedly prompted the storming actually came from inside the school.

Nobody has explained to the parents and grandparents of the children who died why the authorities in Moscow consistently lied about the number of people held hostage.

Nor why they claimed that the terrorists were not making any demands and were not willing to negotiate.

And why the storming took place just at the time that it seemed possible that people whom the terrorists would have listened to were offering to come and help.

These are just some of the questions being asked.

We asked people some months ago http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1200361352&w=Beslan to send their messages of support to the organization “Voice of Beslan”  which has faced systematic persecution from the authorities over their efforts to find out why their children and relatives died.

The appeal below is posted on their site in Russian.  They asked for people to sign it before 3 September, however they would doubtless be grateful for your words of support now.  golosbeslana@mail.ru

Appeal to hold an international investigation into the Beslan Tragedy

Since we have lost hope that an objective investigation into the tragedy will be carried out we are turning to the relevant international communities asking that you assist to achieve an international investigation into the Beslan Tragedy.

“We, the victims of the Beslan Tragedy and their relatives, friends and those who sympathise with us, are outraged by the superficial investigation into the causes of the death and injury of hungers of hostages and rescuers.

At the present time, after four years of investigation and court hearings, aside from the terrorist Kulayev, nobody has been held to answer for the inhuman suffering and huge number of deaths among the hostages. The investigation committee linked to the Russian prosecutor’s office is endeavouring to create the impression that they are carrying out an investigation, yet neither the public nor the victims themselves know anything about its progress.

The victims have tried dozens of legal avenues, have submitted hundreds of applications asking for an investigation. However both the courts and the prosecutor’s office of the Russian Federation have demonstrated unwillingness to try to ensure that the law and justice are restored.

We are therefore forced to turn to international bodies and the leaders of countries which observe international laws on human rights to ask you to jointly resolve the problem by undertaking an international and independent investigation into the Beslan Tragedy and making public the real causes for the death in Beslan of hundreds of innocent children and adults.

A society in which those guilty of the death of people are not brought to justice, but are given awards or promoted, cannot live in safety.

We ask the entire civilized community to help us establish justice, reinstate violated international laws and the memory of our children who perished. “

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