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Chechen Refugee Appeal

On behalf of the Muslim community of New Zealand, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand Inc (FIANZ) calls upon the government of New Zealand and the various political parties currently competing for parliament, to temporarily lay aside partisan differences and make an effort to aid the Chechen refugees. Currently there are over two hundred thousand displaced civilians, many of them woman and children, who have been chased from their homeland by the barbaric actions of the Russian army and are now facing distressing conditions in neighbouring Isgushetia, Ossetia and Dagestan. The New Zealand Muslim community calls upon our government to issue a strong letter of protest with the Russian Ambassador over the animalistic behaviour of the Russian army of invasion and the plight of the refugees.

This is a human catastrophe of appalling proportions and we also strongly request that our government takes practical steps to relieve the misery that has been inflicted almost exclusively upon non-combatants. The criminal behaviour of the Russian armed forces has created entirely unnecessary suffering and deserves only total reprobation. We ask specifically that the Minister of Immigration, in consultation with the UNHCR, do all that is within his power to facilitate the transfer of the most traumatised refugees from the crowded tent cities of Ingushetia to suitable places including New Zealand.

Furthermore we urge our fellow New Zealanders to express their concern by writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Immigration, their local MPs and media, and asking for an explanation as to why the New Zealand government is taking such a relaxed approach to this crisis. After one month of fighting it is clear that this unjustifiable invasion is rapidly developing into a scenario resembling Bosnia, Kosova and East Timor.

FIANZ has already established an Appeal account and we solicit your kind help in our efforts to aid the needy of Chechnya. Donations can be deposited directly in our Appeal account number 02 0500 0737236 06 at any BNZ branch or channeled through Local Muslim Associations / Mosques / Trusts. Dr Anwar Ghani



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