April 20, 2013
As members of Russian/Russian-speaking communities of America and on behalf of our respective organizations, we are united with the people of Boston and all our country in the mourning and profound sadness over the deaths and injuries incurred by the barbaric acts of terror and violence of the past week. We extend our condolences from the depth of our hearts to the families and friends of the victims. And we share the feelings of relief and overwhelming joy over the final apprehension of the surviving suspect. Boston Police, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies as well as local residents involved in making this happen have shown their heroism and professionalism under unprecedented circumstances, and we are deeply grateful to them.
For many decent, law-abiding and hard-working Russian-Americans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, this is particularly tragic, given that the suspects in this unfathomable crime against our country and its people hail from Russia’s North Caucasus. Many of our friends and relatives in Russia know full well the suffering and trauma caused by similar acts of terror. We reject the attempts to link criminal actions or intent with any nationality, religion, or immigrant status. We believe that the ideology that justifies violence (whether in the name of Islamic or any other religion or otherwise) has no place in America or any other civilized country. We are fully supportive of every lawful measure and international collaboration among all the parties involved to combat the dangers of extremist beliefs and prevent the horrors of such attacks as we just experienced from ever happening again.
Leaders and supporters of:
American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights (ARA)
International Association of Former Soviet Political Prisoners (IASPP)
Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx (RCCMB) –
Dmitri Daniel Glinski (New York, NY), Alexander Bolonkin (Brooklyn, NY), Sergey Semenov (Chicago, IL), Dmitriy Grishin (Columbus, OH), Julia Bikbova (Chicago, IL), Igor Kokarev (Santa Monica, CA), Irina Serova (Washington, DC), Sasha Zhdanov (Austin, TX), et al.
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We urge our friends and supporters to donate to The One Fund Boston, formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help the people most affected by these events.
On April 12, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the public list of Russian nationals sanctioned under Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012. Below are some of the comments and reactions of members of ARA community:
“As a participant of the campaign for the Magnitsky Act, I share the feelings expressed by many, including a number of Russian democrats and members of U.S. Congress: the published list of persons sanctioned under the Act is better than nothing but rather unimpressive. If its purpose is to change the behavior of the Russian officialdom, its impact is likely to be negligible. But the decision made by the Administration in this regard reflects the underlying realities, including the weakness of the movement for change inside Russia and of its supporters among Russian-American voters. Neither have been able to organize themselves and thus make a compelling case to the Administration and American society on why a more resolute implementation of the Magnitsky Act would be in the U.S. national interest and worth the risk of antagonizing its present government. It would be irrational for us here and counterproductive for the opposition in Russia to expect the U.S. Government to behave differently in this situation. Instead, those who aspire to lead the movement for change in Russia should do a thorough review of its strategies and tactics. Our Association can and should be one of the platforms for this dialogue in the Russian-American community. In the meantime, we should continue to draw the attention of the U.S. government and public to the situation in Russia and do the best we can to help the people and organizations under attack.”
Dmitri Daniel Glinski, ARA co-chair of the Board (New York)
“The Obama Administration did show in fact a very symbolical support for the Magnitsky Act, literally neutralizing the work of all the Senators and Congressmen who worked on this Act to punish Russian criminals involved in the violent death of Sergei Magnitsky. Unfortunately, the list of only 18 officials out of 280 gives a green light to Russian corrupted officials to continue suppressing law and freedom in Russia. It looks like President Obama has chosen not to support the ideals of freedom and justice the way the U.S. did many years before, when it helped other nations to establish democracy and freedom. It is a pity to realize that the Administration did this in order to avoid the dissatisfaction of Putin, with his dictatorial behavior. We can only wish that the U.S. Government takes a more courageous and uncompromising stance when facing dictators.”
Dmitriy Grishin, ARA-Columbus, OH
“I believe that the Obama Administration has managed to withstand the strong pressure both from Russian officials (who warned it not to publish the “Magnitsky list”) and those who sought to have an excessively large list. President Obama’s balanced line will make the Magnitsky Act work more effectively than it would have been otherwise.”
Zhanna Reid, ARA Board Member (New Paltz, NY)