Mairbek Vatchagaev, President of the Paris based Caucasian Studies Association (Association d’études Caucasiennes) has appealed in the name of his organization to the media representations on the alarming increase of Chechenophobia related with the incidents in Syria.

July 1, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

We have become profoundly concerned and deeply dismayed by the alarming increase of Chechenophobia. For this reason, we are writing you to express our disappointment in the approach of the media.

Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011, nearly all media sources have repeatedly published hundreds of unsubstantial accounts of participation by alleged Islamic Chechen fighters in various crimes in Syria. In recent weeks, in the media, a nation’s name has faced several groundless claims from abductions to barbaric executions. We must remind you that «to have a broken Arabic accent, to be able to speak Russian or to have a beard» do not show that these persons are Chechens! Even if there are any criminals, it is not his «nation» that committed the crime, but it is an individual’s act and you must publish the identity of these persons instead of equating a nation’s name with terrorism.

We respectfully ask you not to lead Chechenophobia in the international community by using this false information.

Mairbek Vatchagaev
President of the Caucasian Studies Association in Paris