Letter: Tragedy of Chechnya

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You report (3 November) that one-third of the Chechen population, numbering about 1 million people, is in flight. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the Russians refuse access to the people to flee to neighbouring Ingushetia.

There is an impressive array of organisations, states and institutions, particularly the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and Nato, which are silent spectators to the Russian attacks on civilians. The inaction on the part of the international community is shameful.

Are not atrocities committed against civilians a crime against humanity? Shouldn't President Yeltsin be tried as a war criminal? The court set up by the United Nations to try those who committed atrocities in the former territories of Yugoslavia should now take note of the atrocities being committed by the Russian military and act quickly to issue warrants of arrest against the Russian leadership.

SHAIKH MOHOMMAD

Croydon, Surrey

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