1944 Deportation of the Entire Chechen-Ingush Population Remembered
February 23 was the 69th anniversary of Stalin’s deportations of the entire Chechen and Ingush people to Central Asia and Siberia. The Waynakh people and their friends commemorated those painful days all around the world.
Belgium: WEYDU, EUINGUSH and another civic diaspora organization held a commemoration event in the city of Hamme. About 150 Chechen and Ingush gathered from different cities around Belgium. The event started with the traditional movlid and zikr, and then there were presentations given about the deportation.
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: People gathered in small village mosques and homes to pray for the victims of the Soviet regime and Russia, because the commemoration of the 1944 deportation was banned by the pro-Moscow regime in our Russian occupied homeland.
Egypt: About 70 students gathered in front of the Russian Embassy in Kahire. The participants held Chechen Republic of Ichkeria flags and banners that condemns USSR and Russia. The protesters wrote some slogans on the wall of Russian Embasy and covered Embassy’s signboard with paints.
France: A protest was organized in the center of Paris. About 50 Chechens and French citizens participated in the event. The participants held Chechen Republic of Ichkeria flags, and informative banners about the deportation. Old Chechens gave speeches about the 1944 deportation and also the ongoing brutal Russian invasion of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. At the end of the event, the participants read duas for the victims.
Finland: Chechen Cultural Center: Waynakh and Vainakh Union civic organizations organized a protest in the center of the capital, Helsinki. About 20 Chechen, Ingush, Georgian and Finnish citizens participated in the event. They held Chechen Republic of Ichkeria flags and banners that told the story of the deportation as well as the ongoing brutal Russian occupation of their homeland.
Georgia: Ingush-Georgian Society ‘Prometheus’ organized a commemorative event in the capital, Tbilisi. During the event, a short documentary movie about the deportation was presented. On February 22, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party members (United National Movement Party) presented a draft bill explaining February 23 as the day of deportation of the entire Chechen-Ingush nation; interestingly they did not ask to recognize this incident as an act of ‘genocide’, but instead proposed to declare February 23 as ‘the day of Solidarity with the People of the Caucasus’.
Jordan: Hundreds of members of the old Chechen Diaspora gathered in front of the Russian Embassy in Amman. Participants condemned Russian policy against the Chechen-Ingush nation. The participants held Chechen Republic of Ichkeria flags and banners related to the deportation and ongoing Russian brutality.
Ingushetia: People gathered in cemeteries and mosques to pray for the victims of the Soviet regime.
Lithuania: On February 22, an international forum was held at the European Information Center in Vilnius. The event was organized by the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the International Group of Parliamentarians on Chechnya. Parliamentarians and political leaders from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine, as well as representatives of public organizations in Lithuania, participated in round table discussions. Chechen historian Said Khassan Abumuslimov and Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Baltic Countries Representative Aminat Saieva were among the participants. During the event, the 1944 deportation as well as the current situation in Chechnya was discussed.
Norway: The Norwegian Chechen diaspora organized a protest in front of the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo. Participants held Chechen Republic of Ichkeria flags and banners. During the event, participants read duas for the victims of the Soviet regime and Russia. At the end of the event, they passed a letter around, which asks Norwegian Parliamentarians to recognize February 23 as an act of genocide against the Chechen-Ingush people.
Turkey: On February 22, in the Sisli district of Istanbul, the Revolutionary Socialist Workers’ Party (DSIP) organized a panel called “Chechen Genocide on its 69th Anniversary and Russia’s Caucasus Politics”. On February 23, some diaspora initiatives organized a commemoration event in the Kadikoy district of Istanbul. Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Turkey Honorary Consul Medet Unlu participated in the event as a guest speaker. During the event, a Chechen asylum seeker talked about deportation memories.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco