Remember your very first day at school? Perhaps you remember your children’s. So do the members of the civic organization “Voice of Beslan”. They remember three days from the 1st to the 3rd of September 2004 which ended in carnage, tanks and the death of their children.
The “First Bell” is a major event for families throughout the Russian Federation. In Beslan parents and grandparents came. There were over 1100 people in the school on 1 September although the authorities there and in Moscow insisted to the world that there were 364 hostages. This was only one of many discrepancies.
“Voice of Beslan” was formed by survivors of Beslan for one purpose only: to find out the truth. How many terrorists were there and who helped them smuggle so many weapons into a school? Why were there conflicting stories as to whether the terrorists were ready to negotiate, and over their demands? Why were tanks and flamethrowers used? What provoked the chaos which took the lives of 331 people, over half of them children, given the evidence that the first explosions did not come from inside the school? They want to know why their children died.
Over the last months, the organization has been facing concentrated efforts to stifle its voice. The latest is the call by the Prosecutor to have an appeal which dates from November 2005 (!), (http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1200015650 ) declared “extremist”. The letter of appeal asks the world community to help them establish what happened. The authorities’ response: an application from the Prosecutor claiming “extremism” over accusations directed against President Putin.Yes, they accuse Mr Putin of aiding and abetting terrorists. We would, however, remind the Russian Federation authorities of a much better method of fighting wrongful accusations. Prove them wrong by finding the truth. “Voice of Beslan” asks no more.
YOU CAN HELP
Please write a simple message of solidarity to “Voice of Beslan” at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell them that you support their efforts to learn the truth and that seeking the truth does not constitute extremism in any free country.Please also copy your letters to email@example.com.
TOGETHER WE CAN HELP TO ENSURE THEIR VOICE IS HEARD.
Halya Coynash Yevhen Zakharov, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Vyacheslav Khavrus Oleksandr Pylypenko, “Maidan” Alliance