The International Circassian Council
47 State Street, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.
Honored Members of the Estonian Parliament
In 2014, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Sochi and its surroundings is the homeland of Circassians.
The Circassian nation is one of the indigenous nations of the Caucasus. Due to the Russian Empire’s policy of expansion in the Caucasus during the 18th and 19thcenturies, Circassians lost more than 1.5 million lives. The Circassian nation continues to suffer till today as a consequence of these crimes and policies.
Circassia is a nation denied by genocide, having been deprived of its independence as a result of colonization, mass crime, mass deportation and genocide. Today, Circassia remains a victim of continuous genocide and a nation in exile.
With respect to the methods of the authorities of the Russian Federation are preparing for the Olympic Games in 2014 and the fact that it is taking place in the vicinity of the European Union, we are appealing to you and the European community. The question is not about the fate of the Circassian nation but also about political, social, humanitarian an ecological problem concerning entire Europe.
Firstly, the situation of human rights in the entire North Caucasian region has worsened dramatically during the past few years. Restricting freedom of speech and media has reached tragic proportions, occasionally resulting in physical liquidation of journalists and human rights activists.
Secondly, Olympic construction sites are built ignoring all environmental standards causing destruction of ecological balance, drastic deterioration of environmental conditions and irreversible consequences to local settlements. As a result, the settlements become uninhabitable and the economic activity of local populace basically impossible. The authority of the Russian Federation has not implemented any reasonable compensation mechanisms so far.
Moreover, abuses of both political and administrative authorities in the region have already exceeded endurance level of local citizens. Corruption, abuses and impunity of authorities have reached the dimensions where civilized existence of the local populace becomes doubtful.
The Circassian Diaspora worldwide, in cooperation with Circassians in homeland, cannot tolerate the situation and appeals to the International community to react and express disapproval and help. Olympic Games as a symbol of peace have become a tool in systematic war against a small nation.
Current situation requires forming timely and clear position based on European criteria. We are ready to provide you and the European community with relevant documents and information materials. We are also ready to participate as experts or witnesses in any relevant event organized in institutional formats of the European Parliament. We, the Circassian people, propose that the European Union initiate a fact-finding mission to the North Caucasus to report on current human rights, ecological and corruption abuses. Relevant reports of independent observers and experts must be available and made public.
Russian Federation as a strategic partner of the European Union have joined international conventions and signed cooperation agreement with the EU clearly stating commitments taken and it is self-explanatory for the member states to demand fulfilling of these commitments and criteria characteristic to civilized states.
Estonia’s reputation as successful reform state and the member of the European Union and NATO, it’s credibility and value-based policy allow us to hope that our appellation deserves comprehensive attention in the institutions, civil society and wider public of Estonia, and gives an impulse to interfere and involve friends and partners around the world to find solutions of resolving the current situation.
Tallinn, 28th of September