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Terror victims and their families should not be abandoned
Written by Михаил Аристов, Виктория Синькевич   
Среда, 21 Сентябрь 2011

ImageIn Paris the 7th International Congress on Victims of Terrorism is underway, under the sponsorship of Nicholas Sarkozy

The Congress was attended by 450 delegates from 35 countries worldwide, all of them having once suffered from the acts of extremist groups.

The opening ceremony was conducted by French justice minister Michel Mercier, who thanked participants for their courage and noted the importance of psychological and medical support to victims of terrorist attacks, as well as to their families:

“We all know that terrorism is a global evil. The purpose of an act of terror is to affect the State and its politics, but civilians are always its victims, as they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is our common duty to honor victims of terrorism, those who died as a result of a terrorist act, and I can tell you how important it is for us to listen to the opinion of these victims. It is a courageous act to speak as a witness. Yet it is a required act, in order that our anti-terrorism work never falters and so that our support and respect for those who have suffered from this senseless violence never weakens.

“Our primary duty is to help the victims. We cannot afford to leave victims of terrorism and their families alone to cope with injuries and the loss of loved ones. It brings a profound physical and mental suffering that we must learn to share,” said Michele Mercier.

Irina Halay, who was injured in the Semptember 1999 Volgodonsk terrorist attack, and Aneta Gadiyeva, co-chair of the ‘Mothers of Beslan’ committee, represented Russia at the Congress. Gadiyeva gave a special presentation: The peculiarities of hostage situations.

The first International Congress of Victims of Terrorism was held in 2004 in Madrid. Since then it has been held each year in Europe and South America. Its participants adopted a manifesto, which appealed to all governments to join in the fight against terrorism and adopt a law on protection and assistance of victims of terrorist aggression. The document proposed that any act of terrorism be recognized as a crime against mankind, and that an international tribunal judge the guilty. In addition, the Congress called upon United Nations member states to sign the Convention on Combating Terrorism, and requested that politicians who cooperate with terrorist organizations be denied diplomatic immunity.

During the current Congress in Paris, whose work will last until September 17th, an international federation of associations in memory of terror victims will be created.

On radio Voice of Russia

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