World Chechnya Day – Remembrance Service: Thursday 23rd February 2006

World Chechnya Day – Remembrance Service: Thursday 23rd February 2006


World Chechnya Day – Remembrance Service
Thursday 23rd February 2006

Location: Yalta Memorial, Cromwell Gardens, South Kensington, London SW7
2SL Nearest tube: South Kensington
Time: 12 – 1.15pm

Contact: Hajira Qureshi.
Phone: +44 (0) 786 1369 015

The Save Chechnya Campaign is joining with organisations around the world
to commemorate World Chechnya Day to mark the deportation of the Chechen
people in 1944. In 2004 the European Parliament passed a motion
recognising this event as Genocide.

Distinguished individuals, representatives of Islam, Christianity and
Judaism, and members of the community will be holding an ecumenical World
Chechnya Day remembrance service, which will include recitals of memories
from that day, messages of support from around the world, a minute’s
silence, and a commemorative balloon-release.

Statements issued in relation to Remembrance

“The Kremlin’s Genocide of Chechen people has been accepted by Europeans
leaders to the shame of us all, citizens of Europe.”
Vanessa Redgrave

“As a Christian, I feel that it is morally and spiritually imperative that
the innocent victims of Yalta should not be forgotten. The history of
communism’s barbarous, murderous record must be taught in schools to all
young people. All men and women of faith should campaign for that to
Rev. Father Frank Gelli

Speaking at the Remembrance will be:
· Professor George Hewitt – Professor of Caucasian Languages
(SOAS), Trustee of MARCCH
· Mrs. Saida Sherif – Chairperson, Save Chechnya Campaign
· Vanessa Redgrave – Actress and Human Rights Activist
· Ahmed Zakayev – Chechen Minister of Culture, Special Envoy of
the (late) President Aslan Maskhadov
· Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick – Vice President of the Movement for
Reform Judaism
· Revd Father Frank Gelli – Former Curate of St Mary Abbots,
Kensington Parish Church. Founder of Arkadash Network for Religious ·
Abdur Raheem Green – London Central Mosque

12.00 Gather at the Yalta Memorial
12.15 Opening: Mrs. Saida Sherif
12.20 Vanessa Redgrave
12.25 Professor George Hewitt
12.30 Ahmed Zakayev
12.35 Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick
12.40 Revd Father Frank Gelli
12.45 Abdur Raheem Green
12.50 Recital of Memories
12.59 Minutes Silence
13.00 Balloon Release

Notes to Editors

1. On 23 February 1944 Stalin ordered the deportation of the entire
Chechen and Ingush population to Central Asia. More than half of the
500,000 people who were forcibly transported died in transit or in
massacres committed by Soviet troops. Those who survived the journey were
left facing starvation and disease in the harsh winters of Siberia and
Central Asia.

2. Within days an entire people had been erased from the land of their
ancestors. Overnight Chechnya and Ingushetia were emptied of their native
inhabitants, and every reference to Chechnya was removed from official
maps, records and encyclopaedias. In 2004, sixty years after the event,
the European Parliament passed a motion that recognised this tragedy as

3. For further information please see

You may also view details online at:

For further details and interview arrangements, please contact Hajira
phone: 0786 1 369 015

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