On May 19th 2006, Russia will take over the chair of the committee of ministers of the Council of Europe - the principal European institution for the protection of human rights. At the same time, the Russian government continues to support the brutal oppression of the people of Chechnya.
We, an initiative of international students based in Paris, think that we should take this occasion to demonstrate solidarity with the Chechens. We hope to be able to raise support and encourage European-wide civilian action. In order to achieve this and to enhance coordination, we established the following website:
We really think that European civil society should stand together to show that we do not accept the torture of an entire population!
* Let us thus show our governments that the people they are representing do not accept the sacrifice of the Chechens to protect political and economic interests!
* Let us show the Russian government that it has to respect human rights if it wants to be respected by the people of Europe!
* Let us show that the citizens of Europe can stand in solidarity and have a say in the politics of Europe!
* Let us help that the conflict and the torture in Chechnya will not be forgotten!
In this spirit we want to motivate the organisation of demonstrations in as many places around Europe as possible. For practical reasons we propose as date the 20th of May 2006.
With little time remaining, we hope that we will succeed to work together as a European civil society!
Therefore, we would like to suggest three ways to take part in this initiative:
1. To organize demonstrations and protest actions for May 20h 2006. To support this we have set up a website as a forum for communication, coordination and exchange of material:
2. To organise informational meetings on the conflict in Chechnya before this date in order to rise public awareness.
3. To help us to promote this initiative throughout Europe by informing and possibly by forwarding this text to the members of your organisation and to others that might be ready to engage.
The text of this email is also available in multiple other languages at:
P.S.: As stated, this is intended to be an initiation and encouragement for independent action. The content of this email and the website are thus open to suggestions, recommendations and criticism.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Peace for Chechnya