Nov 22, 2010

To recognize Sochi as symbol of Circassian genocide

TBILISI, GEORGIA - A group of Georgian lawmakers announced on April 26 about the readiness to launch broad discussions on cases of the massacres and deportations of Circassians by the Russian Empire in the North Caucasus in second half of 19th century.

The announcement by the Georgian parliamentary group of friendship with the peoples of North Caucasus comes a month after Tbilisi hosted a conference, Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The Circassians & the Peoples of the North Caucasus Between Past and Future.

The conference was organized by Washington-based Jamestown Foundation and Tbilisi-based Ilia State University's International School for Caucasus Studies with the participants including, among others, representatives of Circassian diaspora.

On March 21, participants made an appeal to the Georgian Parliament requesting the legislature of Georgia to recognize deportations and mass killings of Circassians by the Russian Empire more than a century ago as a genocide.

Message contains the request to the Parliament of Georgia to declare May 21 "date marking the Russian occupation of North-West Caucasus in 1864, a day of remembrance of victims of the Circassian genocide, and to recognize the city of Sochi, site and symbol of the genocide of Circassians and ethnic cleansing."

The appeal also request the Georgian Parliament to declare May 21, "which marks the Russian celebration of the occupation of the North West Caucasus in 1864, as a memorial day of the victims of the Circassian genocide, and to recognize Sochi as the location and symbol of Circassian genocide and ethnic cleansing."

More about Circassian genocide: Georgia recognizes Circassian genocide