Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Circassians Support Belarusians in Their Aspirations for Freedom and Democracy

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 16 – Residents of predominantly ethnic Russian regions have been far more outspoken so far in their defense of the Belarusian democrats than those in non-Russian republics, yet another indication of the increasing importance of regionalist movements (jamestown.org/program/siberian-regionalism-a-growing-threat-to-moscow/ and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/08/russians-across-siberia-supporting.html).

            But there are indications that non-Russians in the Russian Federation share the sentiments of many ethnic Russians on this issue. A clear indication of that is a statement by the Jordanian Association of Caucasus Circassian Friends, a group closely connected with and reflective of the views of Circassians in the homeland  (justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251682470).

            Below is the text of their declaration about the situation in Belarus:

Given that the Circassian nation is one of the world’s freedom, justice and peace loving nations, regardless of the tragic events that had to go through when the Circassian homeland was cruelly attacked, invaded and occupied by the Russian Empire, Circassians can still stand by all peoples and nations seeking for restoring their freedom, dignity and legitimate rights.

We declare our solidarity with all peace-loving peoples who seek to restore their legitimate rights as our Circassian people. We stand by the Belarus freedom lovers who are seeking to get rid of dictatorship and to live freely in a democratic state that guarantees democracy, decent life and equal rights for all citizens alike and with no exception, in their own homeland.

The Circassians are dispersed all over the world without enjoying their own statehood, as one of the consequences of deportation from their homeland. The Russian-Circassian War, had a devastating effect that is still visible even after the elapse of more than 156 years since the occupation of the capital Sochi, that concluded subjugating the entire Circassian soil.

We faced the bitter reality by inability to achieve the dream of rebirth, without attaining freedom. However, as part of the nation in Diaspora, we fully support the strive of the Belarusian people for freedom. We support the aspiration for better future and the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” -- Nelson Mandela

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