The International Circassian Council and The Circassian Cultural Institute (CCI) strongly condemn a Russian offer to send ethnic Circassians from the North Caucasus to Libya to assist Qaddafi loyalists. Earlier this month several news outlets and blogs reported that an anonymous group of Circassians in the North Caucasus allegedly offered to volunteer as mercenaries to go to Libya to support Muammar Qaddafi's bloody crackdown against the Libyan population. Given that Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code mandates that the Russian judicial system prosecute mercenaries, no such investigation has occurred and that Russian media reports by groups calling themselves Circassians of the North Caucasus are nothing more than a Kremlin ruse aimed at bolstering the Qaddafi regime. ICC and CCI condemn these statements and call upon other Circassian Diaspora organizations to step forward and condemn the actions of the so-called anonymous group which likely acted in cooperation with the Russian government. Not only would such actions be in violation of Russian law, they would be contrary to the Circassian people's interests. Our organizations therefore reject such false claims and attempts by the Russian authorities to discredit our Circassian movement. The International Circassian Council and the Circassian Cultural Institute call upon all Circassian organizations worldwide to affirm their stand with international community. We must all support the people of Libya and our Circassian brothers and sisters in Misrata and other parts of Libya.
Our organizations are non-profit, non-partisan organizations that promote awareness of, and solutions to, problems facing Circassians worldwide. Our Circassian organizations mission is to educate the American public about the plight of the Circassian people and the first genocide of the 19thcentury that resulted in the death of over 1.2 million Circassians.
ICC and CCI seek to create awareness of the endured suffering and the plight of the Circassians in their ancestral homeland of the North Caucasus. ICC and CCI seek to promote Circassian identity by reaching out to Circassians worldwide, including the 6,000 strong Circassian-Americans and their 6 million brothers and sisters living in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Libya, Germany and the North Caucasus.
Through public conferences, workshops, and community gatherings, ICC and CCI seek to promote Circassian ethnic identity, language, and culture in a way that enhances and preserves the Circassian identity. Our organizations are funded by members of the Circassian community around the world and their friends. ICC and CCI accept no governmental funding.
For further background on these statements and the Kremlin’s use of the Circassian Diaspora please visit The Jamestown Foundation website at www.jamestown.org and read the article by Valery Dzutsev in the Eurasia Daily Monitor:
For background information on Qadadafi’s outreach to the Circassian Diaspora community in Jordan and the historic role played by Circassians in the Middle East after their brutal expulsion from the North Caucasus in 1864 see: MuradBatal al-Shishani’s article in Jamestown’s Global Terrorism Analysis:
For more information about our Circassian people please visit: JUSTICE FOR NORTH CAUCASUS website: