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Reply (E-0153/04FR) by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission (10 March) 2004


The use of the term "Chechen network" without any proven
involvement of Chechens: question to the Commission and reply by Commissioner


Reply (E-0153/04FR) by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission (10 March


Commission has no knowledge of the details of the case mentioned by the
honourable member, and in any case is not competent to comment on the views and
acts expressed by the judges of the Member States in the exercise of their


Nevertheless, the Commission shares
the view of the honourable member in the sense that it is not right to identify
the criminal conduct of particular persons with a whole people.


Commission believes that the investigation called for does not fall within the
duties established by Regulation (EC) no. 1035/97 of the Council of 2 June 1997
on the creation of a European Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia.1


JO L 151, 10.6.1997



Written question E-0153/04 by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission


Re: The use of the term "Chechen network" without any proven
involvement of Chechens


often, judges from EU member countries are using terms that tend to give
substance to the idea that Chechens are involved in terrorist networks active
in the European Union. The French judge Bruguière, for example, has used
the concept of "Chechen networks" to define everything remotely
connected with international terrorism, although the use of the adjective
"Chechen" is entirely unjustified. In actual fact the adjective
"Chechen" serves only to define a place - generally hypothetical -
where apprentice terrorists AND European citizens might have chosen to go, or
to define a place - also generally hypothetical - where humanitarian aid might
have been sent.


is the Commission's view of the use of the term 'Chechen network' by judges
from EU member countries - and in particular by the French judge
Bruguière - to define a criminal affair in which the only involvement of
Chechens seems to be the fact that the EU citizens - and not Chechens - under
accusation have referred to Chechens as the possible recipients of financial
aid, or Chechnya as a place where they could carry out their plan for a holy
war? Does the Commission not agree that by acting in this way the judges in
question contribute, whether intentionally or not, to the dissemination of
false information and to the undermining of the image and the reputation of a
whole people, and that they could therefore be responsible for the growth among
EU citizens of feelings of racial hatred, intolerance or even violence towards
Chechen refugees living in member countries? Could the Commission ask the
European Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna to carry out a thorough
investigation into the extent of practices such as those outlined above, with
regard both to the Chechen people and to other peoples, and into the political,
legal and judicial implications that such practices could have?



Don't forget Chechnya! You can support the Chechen Government Peace
Plan for the establishment of an interim United Nations administration in
Chechnya by signing the appeal on the TRP site:



Olivier Dupuis

Member of the European Parliament

tel. +32 2 284 7198

fax +32 2 284 9198


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