Friday, August 26, 2005

Masha Gessen's column on Beslan in the Moscow Times - Beslan Demands Words, Not Silence (via A Step at a Time):


This is also what we are all invited to do next week, on the first anniversary of Beslan, when the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi is organizing a silent rally. "No Words" says the white-on-black poster advertising the event. It looks beautiful. But here is the thing. When it comes to the memory of Beslan, the right things to do are to listen -- or read the transcripts of the trial online -- remember and tell others. Silence, when it comes to Beslan, is not dignified. Silence is the opposite of truth.

But I can't read the trial transcripts - I tried but that's too much pain. I can't bear to watch the kids testify, either - this boy on the news today, he broke down mid-sentence...

I've just learned that it's up to the parents to decide whether to allow their kids to testify or not.

It shocked me, somehow: isn't it cruel enough that the children who survived this horror a year ago have to continue living in Beslan, have nowhere else to go? And now some of them have to live through it all again, during their testimonies?

That's another side of talking vs. staying silent.

And it's heartbreaking to know that after this circus - the trial - is over, only one person will go to jail: Nurpasha Kulaev. And no one from the government will be held responsible, all the officials will keep their chairs...

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