On the Fifth anniversary of Beslan



Appeal from the Civic Chamber of the Republic of Northern Ossetiya-Alaniya Five years have passed since the tragic events at Beslan which horrified the entire world. As a result of the seizure of School No. 1 where there were more than one thousand people, 333 hostages died, more than half of them children. Many others received injuries and irreversible psychological trauma. The grief of people who lost their children and relatives is terrible, yet it is exacerbated by the fact that to this day the preliminary investigation into the terrorist attack at Beslan has not been concluded. In the last five years, the period of the investigation has been extended 20 times, citing one lot of circumstances or another or the obtaining of various expert opinions.

We, as members of the Civic Chamber of the Republic believe that five years was more than enough time to carry out a proper investigation and make its conclusions known.

And for now the people of the republic and those who suffered as a result of the terrorist act cannot understand how a terrorist act which the law enforcement bodies knew could be committed was not prevented. Or why the hostage rescue headquarters refused to hold negotiations with the terrorists, while rejecting the use of force in releasing the hostages.

We cannot understand how it was possible to direct armed fire from heavy artillery (tanks, flame and grenade throwers at a school full of exhausted children and adults. Who took that reckless decision? We are also bemused as to whose fault it was and why fire-fighters began extinguishing the fire 2 hours and 40 minutes later and with virtually no water supply, as the result of which 116 people burned to death. After all the answers to these questions do not demand any investigation, and need only an honest and principled assessment.

The public are entitled to answers to these and other questions, and we consider that such objective information could serve not only to remove tension, but also to prevent similar tragedies in the future. The dragging out of the investigation indicates either the incompetence of the investigation bodies, or of a deliberate attempt to conceal the truth about the terrorist act which in turn undermines public trust in the authorities and law enforcement bodies of our country.

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