Final resolution on the war in Chechnya as adopted by the
Assembly of Delegates of International PEN

       The Assembly of Delegates of International PEN, meeting at the 67th International Congress, held in Moscow, Russia, 22-28 May 2000:

        Is gravely concerned about the tragedy happening before the eyes of the whole world as a result of an undeclared war on the territory of the Chechen republic;
        Expresses profound sympathy to the Chechen people and all the victims of this war, both Chechen and Russian, and to the thousands of refugees forced to seek shelter away from their ruined homes;
        Resolutely condemns the second attempt made by the Russian authorities to resolve the tragic situation in Chechnya by military means;
        Reminds that this needless war can only increase the number of innocent victims and will not lead to the solution of the problem itself in whatever circumstances ;
        Believes that the actual introduction of military censorship and limitation of access to free information as well as violation of a person's right to freedom of movement in his or her country is absolutely inadmissible and breaches all norms of international and Russian laws;
        Demands free access for international non-governmental organizations to the concentration camps set up both in Chechnya and on neighboring territories for them to investigate living conditions there as well as numerous accusations of torture; 
        Further demands broad and free access to the territory of the Chechen Republic for international governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to monitor the observance of demands and norms of human rights by all parties involve in the armed conflict;
        Is mourning the irreparable harm done to the Chechen culture the loss of libraries, theaters, centres of science, educational institutions, historic monuments, of everything that ensures natural development of the Chechen ethnos;
        Is convinced that the whole Russian society has suffered from this war, being de moralized by militarization, cruelty, intolerance, escalation of violence, grief that has come into thousands of families all over Russia misled by the propagandist misinformation;
        Calls upon both Russian and Chechen authorities to comply with international laws prohibiting direct attacks on civilians, including writers and journalists;
        Further calls upon the President of the Russian Federation and all competent authorities to stop this war immediately and to begin negotiations with those forces in Chechnya, including the legitimate president Maskhadov, who are ready for the peaceful solution of the conflict;
        Expresses support to the Russian PEN Centre which defends principles of humanism and democracy stipulated by the Charter of International PEN, under the most difficult circumstances resulting from the disruption in the Russian society provoked by the Chechen war.

       Note:      This is a final official statement on Chechnya as approved by the Assembly of Delegates on 26 May 2000, and replaces earlier versions circulated to participants. 

PEN World Congress Moscow 2000