Appeal from the LAM Center
March 26, 2001

We sincerely grieve for those who died in the acts of terrorism in the North Caucasus [24 people were killed by car bombs on March 24 in Yessentuki, Mineralnie Vody, and Karachaevo-Cherkessia. ed.] and we want to express our deepest sympathy to their families and friends.  We view these terrorist acts as wholly unjustifiable acts of brutality and inhumanity.

At the same time, we cannot help but be disturbed that the Russian media has once again been overcome by anti-Chechen hysteria. Some Russian politicians are making statements implicating the entire Chechen nation in these acts. Those in power are making plans to “neutralize individuals of the Chechen race.”

We can honestly assert that the majority of Chechens, regardless of their political beliefs, are opposed to any acts of violence against innocent, peaceful people. Terrorist acts go against the religion of Chechnya and against the traditional morals of the Chechen people, but as everyone knows, criminals have neither morality nor nationality.

We are against all forms of terrorism and political extremism.

We appeal to Russian society and to the international community to protect the Chechen people from legalized acts of violence committed by Russian government and military forces.