Vanessa Redgrave raises funds for 'children of Chechnya' with doctor who treated terrorist behind Beslan massacre
December 15, 2005
Do not forget Chechnya! Speaker from US welcomed in London
On 4th September 2005, Lord Rea chaired a meeting at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London, organised by Britain's 'Save Chechnya Campaign'. Speakers included Mrs. Saida Sherif of the Campaign, Dr. Khassan Baiev, the Chechen surgeon based in the US, journalist Hiba Abdul-Rahim and Vanessa Redgrave.
Dr Baeiv described the effects of the war on the innocent. His message was 'don't forget Chechnya'. His book 'The Oath' - an account of experiences as a war surgeon -was available for purchase on the day. Vanessa Redgrave introduced a film documentary that she had commissioned on Soviet and post-communist repression in Chechnya. She described Russia as a state under the control of the security and defence ministries, with President Putin, a former KGB officer, as their nominee.
Her film provided evidence of the dirty tricks operation by the Russian security service, the FSB, that lead to bombings of apartment blocks in Moscow in 1999 killing 246 people. The blasts were used to justify the second Chechen war. Putin's stage-managed 'tough response' against the innocent Chechens won him the subsequent presidential election. In 2002 a parliamentary commission was created to investigate the bombings. A year later, two of its four members were dead.
Vanessa Redgrave called on the audience to lobby MPs and MEPs to ensure support for the Chechen cause is not deemed support for 'terrorism' and thus outlawed. She also called on the audience to help by raising awareness at the local level, working through the 'Save the Chechnya Campaign' and donating to the charity registered by Dr Baiev in the US, the International Committee for the Children of Chechnya (ICCC).