[ NOVEMBER 30 2005, 17:45 ] VOICE OF BESLAN
To the President of the United States
To the U.S. Congress
To the Presidents of the Member Countries of the European Union
To the European Parliament
To the editorial staffs of all world television companies, information agencies, newspaper and periodical publications which covered the terrorist act committed in Beslan
To all Russian journalists who worked in Beslan from September 1-3 2004
To all who feel sympathy for the victims of the Beslan terrorist act!
We, former hostages who suffered in Beslan’s School No 1, parents of the children who were killed and maimed, appeal to each one of you. We - the citizens of a country which did not protect us during September last year. We - the citizens of a country which is unable to ensure our right to know the circumstances in which 1128 people were taken hostage and through whose fault 331 people died.
One year and three months have passed since the terrorist act. We thank all who have rendered assistance to us and shown charity. But if we had realized what a terrible path lay in prospect for us after the little town of Beslan buried more than 300 people, we would have asked you not to transfer money to us, nor to send us medicine and other humanitarian assistance. We would have asked you for nothing except aid in the investigation of the terrorist act.
After Beslan, this investigation became the purpose of our lives. After Beslan we learned what it is to be the victim of a terrorist act in Russia. We learned of the agonies the victims of the bombings of the apartment blocks in Buinaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk are suffering in their search for truth, what an inhuman attitude the law-enforcement agencies and executive authorities have shown to the surviving hostages and the relatives of those who were killed in the "Nord-Ost" theatre, to the relatives of the passengers of the people who perished in those two airliners that exploded in August 2004, and the manner in which the inquiry into the Nazran attack, which took place two months before Beslan, is being conducted.
It is with horror that we must acknowledge: today terrorist acts have become the most efficient political mechanism in Russia. By means of terrorist acts our government solves its political and commercial problems. We rightfully accuse the present regime of Russia of complicity in Russian and world terrorism.
Not one terrorist act perpetrated in Putin’s Russia has been properly investigated. Dozens of serious crimes against the peaceful citizens of our country remained unpunished and anonymous.
We know nothing of who really ordered the Beslan crime. Of just how the organization and realization of a crime of this scale became possible. Why it was not prevented. Who is to blame for this.
We have been asking all these questions for more than year. In response we hear lies.
We are forced to live in a country where the public prosecutor’s office openly lies and commits official crimes, where the officials give false evidence in court, and during the days of mourning the President himself publicly deceives the mothers and the fathers of the killed and maimed children. To tell lies about 354 hostages - this is the choice made by our President. He finds it easier to show that he is badly informed than to punish his friends – the members of the law-enforcement agencies - for their total incompetence and corruption.
We have been forced to search by ourselves for the proofs of the fact that tanks and flamethrowers were used to fire on the Beslan school. We have been forced to prove that the school was fired on when there were there living hostages inside. We have been forced to prove that there were more terrorists, and that many of them are now at liberty. We have been forced to prove that the assault was begun by our soldiers at the very moment when Aslan Maskhadov had agreed to come to Beslan. And our politicians refused to conduct negotiations even to save children. They refused to make use of the possibilities offered by Maskhadov to rescue the hostages. Once again, the principles of Russian authority proved to be more important than human life.
We are guilty of having elected a President who solves his problems with the aid of tanks and flamethrowers and gas whose effects are making the former hostages of "Nord-Ost" give birth to defective children.
But it is not we who are guilty of the fact that the world’s political elite supports our President, who has become the guarantor of criminals.
Yes, the western world is faced by a new threat - terrorism. We do not justify Shamil Basayev, the main Russian terrorist whom they have been “trying to catch” for ten years, and we demand that he be brought to justice. But we would like to obtain the expert advice of the foreign special services: are the Russian law-enforcement agencies doing all that they can in order to eliminate Basayev? Do they want this? Is this task being put before them? How long would it take, let us say, the officers of MOSSAD to eliminate Basayev? And how can Mr. Patrushev [head of the FSB] sit quietly in his armchair while at the same time Basayev is blowing up Russia with impunity?
Yes, the world is threatened by terrorism. But why does America judge Saddam Hussein, while Russia kills Maskadov? Why in Spain does a president who tells lies commit political suicide, while in Russia he runs for a third term? Why in our country do they kill thousands of hostages along with a handful of terrorists, while Mr. Berlusconi pays the ransom for an opposition female journalist? And the President of France does everything he can in order to free French hostages?
Yes, terrorism is a world problem. But if the world goes along the way of infinite cruelty, will not this perhaps be the victory of terrorism? We will become like them. We will become terrorists.
Vladimir Putin thinks that this is the correct way. Terrorist acts in Russia are increasing in number. Terrorist acts in which Russian citizens kill other Russian citizens. None of these terrorist acts has been properly investigated.
We want to do everything we can in order to change this tendency. We want to attain a juridical assessment of the actions of all the participants in the Beslan events. We ask you for help.
We appeal to all who possess information about the Beslan terrorist act. We appeal to the television companies, which are the owners of video materials, and to the journalists, who became direct eyewitnesses of the first explosions which were heard at 13.03 and 13.05 on September 3 and provoked the military operation for the elimination of the terrorists.
We ask that this information be put at our disposal, or that those who possess such information shall appear in court to give testimony on behalf of the victims.
We appeal in particular to the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress. We know that your country has at its disposal surveys of the Beslan school made from satellites on September 1, 2 and 3, 2004. We ask that these surveys be declassified and delivered to the residents of Beslan for presentation at the trial of the accused terrorist Nurpashi Kulayev.
We also appeal to the European Union and the European Parliament, whose members have publicly voiced their intention of conducting an international investigation of the Beslan terrorist act. We cannot demand, but we request support for our efforts to investigate the terrible crime which took away the lives of our close ones.
NGO "Voice of Beslan". November 30 2005
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