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#17 - JRL 7230
BBC Monitoring
Chechen rebel president says Russian amnesty will not stop war
Source: Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site in Russian 18 Jun 03

Chechen rebel president Aslan Maskhadov has said that the Russian amnesty will not stop the war in Chechnya. In an appeal published by the rebel web site Kavkaz-Tsentr, Maskhadov called for the punishment of the Russian leadership and military for their "crimes against humanity" and "atrocities" in Chechnya and said that the war would continue until "the last occupier" left the Chechen land. The following is an excerpt from report by Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site entitled "Referendums and amnesties will not stop the war":

The 7th edition of the Chechen paper Dzhikhad Segodnya [Jihad Today] published on the territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria carried an appeal by Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov in connection with the so-called "amnesty" announced by the Russian State Duma.

[Passage omitted: Maskhadov starts the appeal by reciting Koranic verses and phrases in Chechen]

[Maskhadov] The Russian State Duma has lately been speaking about an amnesty again and giving us time until July or September. They promise to grant amnesty to those who lay down their weapons during that period, surrender, drop to their knees and kiss the ground in front of them. Having made such statements, they are just playing an old game which everybody knows about.

One can only talk about the amnesty, surrender or ultimatums when one warring side defeats another as a result of a war. An amnesty is granted in this case or other cases to criminals.

Chechnya's endless war with Russia went into the 12 ye the present wars are part of that campaign. Neither during the last war nor during this war Russia, with all its military might, managed to gain victory over the Chechen state. A question arises: why should Russia announce an amnesty after all it does not deserve our respect and after all it has failed in its attempts to win and to implement any of its plans on the territory of our state?

Had we broken down and gone down on our knees and had they won - we all know what kind of amnesty they would have granted us and which methods they would have used against us.

We all know very well what they had prepared for us and our people when they decided to launch this military campaign against Chechnya. All the Chechens from 10 to 60 were expected to go through Chernokozovo [filtration camp]. That means that they were planning to destroy and eliminate the Chechen population who regard themselves as worthy men. This is what they planned for our state. But no matter how much they bombed our lands, how hard they tried and the kind of forces they sent here, they have failed in their plans to eliminate the Chechen people. We survived and we did not retreat. [Passage omitted: says that God willing Russia will fail again and recaps on previous amnesties].

Let me stress once again: had Russia been successful in implementing its plans here - there would have been no referendum, no elections and no amnesties here! They would have dragged us all to Chernokozovo.

We know very well why they are "amnestying" us. What have we done to deserve that? What is my fault? What is the fault of my poor and long-suffering people? What is the fault of those who have taken up arms in order to defend their religion and raise the word of Allah, defend their homeland and liberate their people from the yoke of hypocrites and infidels? What is behind this amnesty? Are we criminals? Have we declared a war on someone or have we captured somebody else's territory by force?

We are on our own land. We are defending our homeland and people.

There is an insignificant number of people who are misled by Russia's mendacious promises. We know what happens to them afterwards. Salman Raduyev is an example as he believed Russia's promises and surrendered to them. He was held in a prison cell for a year and was subjected to various types of torture, which the whole world saw. Then he was violently killed in the prison.

It is Russia - the Russian leadership, politicians and generals - that should drop to their knees and beg forgiveness - for their monstrous acts of terror and genocide against our people and for the sorrow and sufferings that they have brought to our land. They are to blame for everything - they are the occupiers, criminals, Wahhabis, aggressors, terrorists and the worst of the creatures that inhabit the earth.

[Passage omitted: rehashes history of the Chechen people]

Why did the Russian leadership unleashed a new war here? Was it to make Putin president and create the image of a man who brought the Chechens to their knees, which neither Yermolov [Russian general in the 19th century], nor Stalin, nor Yeltsin managed to do. The rest - events in Botlikh, house explosions and other events - were used as reasons for unleashing this war.

The atrocities and brutalities they carried out against the Chechens in this war have never been carried out anywhere in the world and things like that did not happen in any of the wars. This war has been going on for four years, and civilians, women, old men and children are being killed on a daily basis. They not only kill people - they behead them and then boil their heads in buckets of water; they destroy people completely, they beat them and they sell their organs or their corpse for money to their relatives or blow them up on land mines; they rape and murder Chechen girls and women.

Under the international law such actions qualify as crimes against humanity or war crimes. They have been making a fuss about sadist and bastard Budanov over the past three years. Why did he rape and strangle a 17-year-old Chechen girl? They are the ones who should drop to their knees and beg forgiveness of the Chechen people.

If The Hague Tribunal fails to bring them to account for their crimes - we will do it ourselves. They will face retribution. We flush the enemy out of our land. God willing, the Shari'ah court will give its verdict on Stalin, Yeltsin, Putin and all the Troshevs and Shamanovs [Russian generals]. They will answer for all their monstrous crimes on this land, without the limitation period.

Those who side with them and have become their slaves, their administrators and traitors will not get away from retribution either. No matter where they are - in Tanzania or in any other place - they will answer for everything.

For this reason, we should not listen to their empty talk about "amnesties", "elections" and "referendums". We have to use this time and prepare for cleansing our land from the occupiers.

Neither a "referendum" nor "amnesty" will stop this war.

This war will end only when we cleanse this land from the last occupier. There is no other way to peace!

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