Europe’s Moral Role to Restore Circassian Legitimate Rights

Europe’s Moral Role to Restore Circassian Legitimate Rights

By: Adel Bashqawi

22 September 2018

The First International Circassian Conference in Nuremberg



Throughout history, rights have not been lost to any nation in this world except when its people have neglected their prerogative to claim their freedom and independence. The political ruling that eliminated the entire Circassian nation was decided upon, whether implicitly or explicitly, by foreign great powers at the time. The unfair, prejudiced and oppressive decision was determined and taken in the absence of one of the Caucasus region’s oldest and largest nations both in size and population. This is a nation that has rightfully inherited their homeland from their ancestors. They had lived in their homeland since the dawn of history and they harbor a legacy, a heritage, and a civilization. These irresponsible agreements and treaties made it quite clear that a tragic future was awaiting Circassians.

The European Union’s leading role in the world requires more attention to be given to the Circassian Question. Europe bears a moral obligation to restore the Circassian legitimate rights. The European Union should consider resolving the different issues of the Circassian Question at the regional, continental and international levels. Being an oppressed European nation, Circassia must regain its legitimate rights in full and undiminished. The following is a review of the main and fundamental elements that could be used as a guide to thoughtful action as well as other proposals that could be established as a roadmap for future Circassia action.

There are several examples that can show the depth of the tragedy that hit Circassia and other nations of the Caucasus. One such example is, “‘Highlanders Leaving Their Village’ by Petr Gruzinsky [which] shows the deportation of Circassians, the indigenous peoples of the region from their homeland at the end of the Russo – Circassian War by victorious Russia. The expulsion was launched before the end of the war in 1864 and it was mostly completed by 1867. The peoples involved were mainly the Circassians (Adyghe), Ubykhs, Abkhaz, and Abaza.”1

Moral regression has thrown many off their ethical values and kept many in a deep slumber. Unfortunately, facts have proven that some parties have imposed a deceptive propaganda which was used as a terrible weapon in the hands of the hostile parties and proxies. This has made claiming the legitimate rights irrelevant and the calls for rectitude or virtue unfair and unreasonable! Those parties are, in reality, far from virtue and truth, while the underlying truth proves the disrespect and disregard of human rights caused by the deniers of legitimate rights.

Circassians were presented to their current tragic reality at the end of the Russo-Circassian war in 1864 that dispersed them in many geographical and political regions around the world between Motherland and Diaspora. The Circassians are dreaming of returning to their homeland one day. It is as if they are being held in virtual reality by dreaming of their homeland, while being unable to transcend that dream into a physical reality. It is like living in an imaginary reality or existing in fiction without physically reaching it. Reality has shown us that many centers of power are making it impossible to allow the Circassian nation to reach a de facto situation. They intend to use propaganda to keep the barriers and obstacles between truth and fiction, leaving the restoration of legitimate rights illusive, unlikely, or even impossible. Art. 1 (2) UN Charter says: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. All peoples have the right to self- determination.”2

Russia’s Chronic Failure to Solve the Circassian Question

— The Circassians in the North Caucasus and Diaspora, in addition to other non-Russian peoples in the Russian Federation, were outraged. They expressed displeasure at the Russian State Duma vote that made the teaching of any national language voluntary, while keeping Russian as the main language. “The Duma’s passage on first reading of the Kremlin’s language bill that would make the study of all languages in Russia except Russian purely voluntary by a vote of 373 to 3 with one abstention has sparked outrage in the non- Russian republics generally and the Circassian ones in particular as an appalling case of the center’s ‘purely imperial policy’.”3

— The situation led to a meeting of local prominent leaders who condemned the devious move. “A meeting of 200 leading intellectuals and officials in Kabardino-Balkaria unanimously denounced the Kremlin’s proposed language bill, saying that it is another step toward Moscow’s demolishing of the non-Russian republics and toward the launch of a new Russian wave of ethnocide against the Circassians and other non- Russian nations.”4— In a blatant defiance to the right of Circassians return in general, the Russian state has granted a refugee status to only two of Syria’s Circassians out of 3,000 requests of those who wish to live in their homeland5. People of Russian origin who ran away from Crimea several years ago, have taken refuge in the North Caucasus. They were given a welcome reception, and given priority to be served and treated according to first class services. “Moreover, in one infamous case, the Russian authorities expelled Syrian refugees from sanatoriums in Kabardino-Balkaria in order to provide housing for refugees from Ukraine following the Russian invasion of that country and the Crimean Anschluss, Khatzhukov continues.”6

— Some optimists say that those who want to return to their homeland are allowed to go back whilst describing the situation as the door is widely open. This is not a precise description of the situation. The Circassians are allowed to return home by limited numbers and within strict quotas applied in the Circassian republics in the North Caucasus. The Circassians have to apply and compete with the Chinese, Koreans, Armenians, Kurds, and others. This does not solve the Circassian issue.

— Since the Tsarist Russian invasion started in 1763, aggressive policies were implemented. “Russia has consistently adopted an imperial policy of dealing with subordinate peoples and nations that applies in the Circassian model. Being one of the Russian victims, Circassians had endured difficulties because of the findings and implications of the Russian-Circassian War. It has overlapped over the years, and kept ever since, the hostilities and the displacement of the vast majority of the Circassians to accept the status quo and preserve it permanently.”7

— Natural rights are inherent to all human beings without discrimination: “Rights must be interrelated, connected and indivisible, the Right to Self-determination in accordance with United Nations ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,’ and the ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’”8

— The Russian Empire, while conspiring with other colonial powers in the region, has ignored signed agreements and treaties. “Aslan Beshto wrote, ‘277 years ago, on this day, Kabarda was recognized as an independent state. Sound and balanced policy leaders of the country led to the fact that our country has received the official status of the subject’s international law’. Beshto has dilated in highlighting the appropriate reference to legal background of the occasion. With no doubt, that is derived from the related international treaties, laws, and norms. Circassians believe that Circassia’s independence is not a doubtful prospect or a negotiable subject in any way. That’s what the Tsarist Russian Empire has worked hard to divert.”9

— At the present time, discrimination, ill-treatment, ethnic fusion, and the destruction of the national languages of many peoples are the name of the game and the main objective of the Russian state. “The peoples of the North Caucasus are considered citizens of Russia. Their homelands were conquered and annexed by Russia when they were occupied by the Tsarist Russian Empire. Nevertheless, compatriots from the North Caucasus, when they travel to other parts of the present Russian Federation, are considered immigrants. They get discriminated against and consequently treated in a degrading manner.”10

— “Russian authorities through its embassies and the Russian cultural centers linked directly to the Russian Foreign Ministry on the other hand, in order to impose a policy of fait accompli that ignores the axiomatical in order to blur the core issues. Thus, relevant international laws must be noted and understood and, as a minimum, should not accept less when dealing with everyone who wants to cooperate and to engage in dialogue and may not waive the inalienable legitimate national rights, which must take into account the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”11

— While Russia continues to be a diverse country—with schools teaching the languages of national minorities and indigenous peoples, and many representatives of minorities fully integrated in Russian society —numerous, severe problems persist. There has been only limited progress in the implementation of international protection standards, such as the FCNM, and a resistance to ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.12

— The Circassian nation, which has a documented history for thousands of years, has not come from a vacuum. It had enjoyed a deeply rooted human civilization in the Northwest Caucasus, although not many contemporary countries existed in the region. “Little by little, modern Circassians have been rediscovering their history, which Russian and Soviet authorities had previously carefully stripped of all their important and proud historical moments. Among such events, Circassian activists have recently pointed to Article 6 of the Belgrade Treaty between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, signed on September 18, 1739. According to this point in the treaty, the activists argue, the Circassian lands at that time should have been granted independence, as they were formally released from any obligations to either the Ottomans or the Russians for Circassians.”13

— Regardless of the different consecutive regimes, Russian politics have not changed significantly through the years up until the present time. Some positive signs, but not enough, were issued under the administration of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. “The dynamics of today’s Circassian movement and the Russian government’s reaction to it indicate that the authorities in Moscow will not be mollified by the Circassians’ passivity. Rather, this ethnic minority has learned that activism and collective action is needed to improve its bargaining positions vis-à-vis Moscow. For now, the Circassians have managed to calibrate their activities so as to push for a rejection of the loss of historical memory but without incurring any violent reprisals from the Russian government. It remains to be seen, however, whether growing frustration eventually throws this relationship out of balance.”14

World and European Role

The United Nations, its Commission on Human Rights, Europe, the regional countries, and other peace- loving nations must carefully consider the status of the Circassian nation. The proper mechanism must be followed to ensure the restoration of its rights and its homeland. Their legitimate rights must be guaranteed by international law. Proper knowledge of the law and legal knowledge about the war of genocide is necessary in solving the problem.

— It is inevitably necessary to prepare the appropriate Circassian Question file that includes an agenda to be seriously considered for addressing the applicable argument. It should include all the main elements and issues, to become the topic of concern and at the global and/or European table. In addition to contacting the world human rights entities and organizations to be more familiar with the tragedies of a stricken nation that had to give up after 101 years of Tsarist Russian hostile invasion.

— Circassians must work hard and seek the following proper course to revive and reestablish holding a Circassian Day in the European Parliament15, which was held periodically until several years ago. Reverse thrust have diverted the issue from the Circassian track16 and then was apparently suspended without explanation.

—The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Preamble says, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”17

— “It is the right of all the oppressed people that live under oppression and injustice of colonialism to secession and the formation of their independent states. It should protect people from the cancellation of their advantages and restrictions of ethnic, national, and religious character. All minorities and ethnic groups must restore their full freedom. Also, minorities, racial groups, indigenous peoples and nations should be protected and respected.”18

— The implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples must be enforced and all peoples must be included without exception. On the 19th of May 2015, former “United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled that, since the birth of the United Nations 70 years ago, more than 80 nations once under colonial rule, with some 750 million inhabitants, were now sovereign Member States … Josiane Ambiehl, Chief of the Decolonization Unit, Department of Political Affairs, has said: “In 1946, there were 72 Territories on the Organization’s list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, he said, noting that, today, only 17 such Territories remained. Much had been achieved, but the goal of eradicating colonialism had not yet been reached. The international community had an obligation to ensure that a full measure of self-government was achieved in the remaining Territories. In that connection, he urged all to work towards fulfillment of that “noble goal” before the end of the Third International Decade of decolonization in 2020.”19

“Though occupation should remain at best a short-term response to disruptions of international peace, self- defense or threats to the peace of a particular region make certain occupations inevitable. Though international organizations enter occupied territories with a special cloak of legitimacy unavailable to most state occupiers, the two have much in common. As long as citizens of occupied territories oppose foreign occupation – and, as both Kosovo and Iraq demonstrate, even those who welcome the occupiers at first will come to tire of them soon enough – both must conduct their occupations with a coherent approach to the relevant international and domestic law and be able to justify any coercive actions. Such a commitment would represent a modest step for these two sorts of occupiers in distancing their actions from the more typical occupations imposed on conquered peoples.”20

— It is obvious that the European Union is one of the main and prominent players in the world who are interested and even genuinely involved with human rights issues. That includes the rights of national minorities. Beyond a shadow of doubt, any violators should be denounced and rejected. Here comes the logical and legitimate question; does this apply to the Circassian nation as it applies to others? Foreign occupation and colonization must be eliminated because the occupation of the territory of others by force and the colonization of peoples against their will does not last. This fact of life requires them to be subject to decolonization one day.

The Question of Future Circassian Independence

Circassians are taking into consideration all challenges that are being placed in their way. Regardless of all affecting circumstances, no one will be able to influence their principles, beliefs, and the ways that they have chosen for themselves. They will not give up their principles for civilization and humanity despite hostility. They believe in: “Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you will survive whatever is coming.”21

The Circassians must have the natural right to return to their homeland with no restrictions. Realization of the legitimate national rights and the possibility of obtaining the right of self-determination of the Circassian people on the Circassian land are the top priorities. That would make it possible to raise the question of fu- ture Circassian independence in accordance with a crystallized plan that is based on future agreements that will be signed with the Russian state. In the light of the repercussions of the civil war in Syria and the inabili- ty of the Circassians of Syria to return to their original homeland (because of the stubbornness and arrogance of the Russian authorities), the European Union and the international community must take action to address this human tragedy.

“TheMistAnchorite” online, a social community for artists and art enthusiasts, has published a ‘YouTube’ video and illustrated guidelines issued by a video message that elaborated on whether Circassia would ever be independent.22 This example proves the existence of plans and schemes, which are orchestrated based on doctrinal beliefs and contradictions perhaps to make room for manipulation of values, concepts and core issues. These plans and schemes seem to be fabricated and promoted amongst multiple parties who have links to operators behind the scenes.

“Circassia never independent, tell that to the 10 million Circassians across the world.
I think if things are taken step by step by the Diaspora, things will move to work this direction.
Things are moving too slow that indeed we cannot talk about Circassia being independent.
I think repatriation must be done so they can form a bigger majority in the region.
If they want to be seen differently by the Russian society, I think that Circassians must return to the Orthodox faith, because let me tell you something, Circassians are Christians before the Russians. The oldest Christian temple can be found in Circassia, in all the Russian Federation.
Circassians were turned to Orthodoxy by Saint saxon Anglo. I think they have another kind of spirituality. Some of them are still Orthodox Christians, I don’t know where they live, in what part of the Caucasus. Probably in Mozdok if I am not mistaken.”23

Mixing matters randomly would complicate essential features and make elements seem more complicated than they are. “Now let us talk about Russia as it is today, I think this country will become more divided, because they are present in so many wars, in Syria, in Ukraine. It is inevitable. They even took some lands, like Crimea and you are fighting to grab some land in Eastern Ukraine, and even in Moldavia and Transnistria. So, the more you eat, you have to ingest Russia because you are going to divide. The Russian society will protest. I think that using and spending money on armaments, on the army will not help the Russian society. They will become poorer and poorer, day by day. I am not saying that stronger Russia is one that is isolated. No, Russia is too big to be isolated I think. So, my point is that Circassia can be independent, if we take the current situation in the region.”24

Crystallizing a Plan

A road map is not yet available. Premature, unofficial, scattered, non-solid initiatives, and seasonal mobility of Circassian circles’ activism will not help crystallize a proper Circassian road map. Circassians should seek to demand the restoration of their legitimate rights on their own if no one is willing to do it on their behalf. Based on the available evidence, documents, and testimonies, they should be eligible to act and prepare their case legally and professionally for submission to who it may concern. They must insist on retrieving their rights through the European Union, the United Nations, and other countries that recognize regulations, directives, and the evidence to assist in granting the fair Circassian demands.

There are overwhelming obstacles hindering the progress of raising crucial issues to be passed. A tremendous progress must be accomplished in a case construction process that includes a fortified file of documents, information, and claims. They should be presented to legal, human rights, and political international parties and arenas aiming to claim the legitimate rights of Circassians. They need to be protected by international laws and norms. The main objective should not be targeting or antagonizing legal adversaries or the parties that deny the legitimate rights. Rather it is to stress on protecting and preserving their own rights and values, and to identify peaceful means that will lead to their restoration.

This may include preparing a qualified road map demanding legal, juridical, and political issues. This can be submitted to international experts and specialists to seek retrieving the legitimate rights of Circassians. They are guaranteed by international laws and norms, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.25 It is important to establish and orchestrate a committee or a specialized international body or institution to be committed to conducting and implementing the procedural follow-up. This will eventually lead to the characterization and organization of the necessary tracks for the implementation of all points in the texts to be prepared. However, it is essential to know that there are multiple psychological barriers that need to be overcome.

Human Rights and European Union’s Moral Obligation

It is difficult to overcome the Russian intransigence and stubbornness that deny the legitimate Circassian rights. There is much work to be accomplished and this should be the EU’s humane constructive role. It is not as easy as some people might think. It can’t be described as a piece of cake as some other people characterize. Tremendous efforts need to be exploited because it is more complicated than being a superficial glimpse. “Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights – these values are embedded in the EU treaties. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is a clear and strong statement of EU citizens’ rights.”26

There is no doubt that the European Union is obligated to have a great role in solving the problems and atrocities that occurred as a direct effect of the Russian-Circassian War. No matter what kind of rhetoric, touching, humane and logical statements are used in the European Union’s official human rights commitments; there are contrasts and contradictions between the will and the implementation of these statements. It is no secret that there are many formalities of obstacles and procedural barriers that prevent the honoring and/or appreciating the legitimate rights of peoples to self-determination in their homelands, even those who are European peoples deprived of their rights. Therefore, the complexity of the Circassian Question necessitates the requirement and even the urgency to start from a solid ground.

“Fundamental rights are guaranteed nationally by the constitutions of individual countries and at EU level by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (adopted in 2000 and binding on EU countries since 2009). All EU institutions – the Commission, Parliament and Council – have a role to play in protecting human rights. The Charter:

* lays down the fundamental rights that are binding upon the EU institutions and bodies.
* applies to national governments when they are implementing EU law.
Individuals seeking redress must go through the courts in their own country. As a last resort, they can apply to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).27
The Charter is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which has been ratified by all EU countries.
The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) identifies and analyzes major trends in this field.”28

Electing appropriate assessments must be accomplished by taking into consideration decisive elements of the Russian-Circassian War. It is essential to mention the logical sequence according to the data available in the documents extracted from Russian archives, as well as in books and novelties dealing with various Circassian affairs.29

It is a well-known fact that the Tsarist Russian colonial and imperial greed were the main drive for the invasion and domination. The direct and indirect consequences and implications of the devastating war must be registered and put forward for legal records. “No matter whether you call it the Great Circassian Exile, the mass ethnic cleansing of Circassians or a genocide, it forms a basis of Circassian identity, a nation forced to leave its homeland. Without this, it is impossible to talk about the Circassian identity.”30

Where ninety percent of Circassians ended up in Diaspora since 1864, they are still scattered in more than 30 countries around the world today. When tracking events and facts in these available documents, an integrated issue can be built that will be dealt with in accordance with international laws and norms. “In 1864, for example, Russian forces carried out what some have deemed31 ‘the first modern genocide on European soil’, after they seized the lands of the Circassians — which include the area around Sochi, where Russia staged last year’s Winter Olympics. Tens of thousands of Circassians were systematically butchered; countless others died of starvation or cold as they trekked into exile. Some accounts suggest that as many as a million — half of the ethnic group’s total population — died at the time.”32

Hence, “hundreds of thousands of Ubykh, Shapsugh, Abadzekh, Bzhadokh and other Circassian tribes traditionally inhabiting the highlands, foothills and plains of the Northwest Caucasus were either forced into exile to the Ottoman Empire by the Tsarist authorities or left their native land deliberately following the decisive occupation of the area by the Russian Army in the final years of the Greater Caucasus War (1817-1864) and shortly thereafter.”33 The return of Circassians to their homeland must be in accordance with the relevant laws and norms, and must depend on international resolutions and protection. There is a duty incumbent upon the parties concerned.

Circassians have never given up hope. They are optimistic about a promising future, and determined to follow the path towards their core goals. They are ultimately in line with human standards based on international laws and norms. This coincides with part of Mandela’s favorite poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley:

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”34

Indigenous Peoples Rights

— From time to time, Circassian individuals and organizations in different locations, demand to obtain their rights in accordance with local and international laws, but without a positive response by the Russian authorities. “Ramazan Khun, a Circassian activist from Russia’s Krasnodar region, posted an unusual online petition on the website The petition calls on the Russian government, President Vladimir Putin, and the administration of Krasnodar Krai to grant indigenous rights to the Circassians, who reside on the territory of this southwestern Russian region.”35

— (FCNM) “The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.”36 It “was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 November 1994 and entered into force on 1 February 1998. Non-member States may also be invited by the Committee of Ministers to become Party to this Convention.”37

— The United Nations Rights of the indigenous peoples and Nations indicates, The {States “welcome[d] the adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples which has a positive impact on the protection of victims {urge[d] States to take all necessary measures to implement the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with international human rights instruments without discrimination . . .”}.38

— Who are the ‘Indigenous People’? People who inhabited a land before it was conquered by colonial societies and who consider themselves distinct from the societies currently governing those territories are called Indigenous People. As defined by the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Sub- Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are . . . “those which having a historical continuity with pre- invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal systems (Martinez-Cobo, 1984).”39

— The indigenous peoples who got their homelands occupied by arrogant powers deserve and have the right to restore their legitimate rights. These people have to be considered and their troubles and the consequences of the atrocities they have suffered must be addressed. The Circassian people still continue to suffer today in Diaspora. “Indigenous peoples all over the world find themselves locked in power struggles with dominant states and transnational actors who resist their claims to land, culture, political recognition and other key factors associated with the idea of national self-determination. In the vast majority of cases, states and transnational corporations see such claims as barriers to the state-building projects that depend heavily on accessing and extracting resources from traditional Indigenous lands. In 2007, the importance of Indigenous self-determination alongside that of nation-states was significantly enhanced when, on September 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples – suggesting that an important attitudinal shift might now be taking place internationally. Yet, as this volume’s contributors suggest, much more work is needed in terms of, on the one hand, what Indigenous self-determination means in theory and, on the other hand, how it is to be achieved in practice.”40

— “The rights of indigenous peoples rank highly among the priorities of the EU’s action to advance democracy and human rights. The goals are to assert indigenous peoples’ rights and boost their capacity to control their own social, economic and cultural development, while enhancing territorial rights as well as capabilities for sustainable management of biological resources … Since the rights of indigenous peoples were first included in the EU agenda in 1997, considerable progress in the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights has been made. As an example, in May 2017, the Council adopted the Council Conclusions on Indigenous Peoples. Most importantly, the EU supported in 2007 the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples … The EU is also funding projects worldwide, through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). Projects are run by international organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and by civil society organizations.”41

— The Council of the European Union Conclusions on Indigenous Peoples, “The European Union is founded on values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Furthermore, the prohibition of discrimination on any grounds and the respect for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity are fundamental principles under the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union. The EU is committed to promote the respect of human rights of all, everywhere in the world. The Council recalls its conclusions on Indigenous Peoples of November 2002 (GAERC 2463) setting out a wide range of external policies in this regard.”42

— The Rights of Indigenous people: “There does not seem to be one definitive definition of indigenous people, but generally indigenous people are those that have historically belonged to a particular region or country, before its colonization or transformation into a nation state, and may have different—often unique— cultural, linguistic, traditional, and other characteristics to those of the dominant culture of that region or state. (For more details, see this fact sheet from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues {UNPFII}.)”43

The United Nations organization has not neglected to pay attention to the rights of indigenous peoples to ensure that their natural rights are guaranteed in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.
– United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples44
– UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)45

– Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples46

The same applies to the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights47 and the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.48

Arrogance being the Genuine Impediment of Recognizing Legitimate Rights

— The activists and other concerned individuals and entities need to do the work according to the available data and surrounding conditions. However, some of the most important obstacles that emerged when trying to address the Circassian affairs are arrogance and propaganda. Obviously, there is a variation between theatrical or dramatic performance. The backstage and frontstage are different than the behind the scenes ineffectual action. Nevertheless, the Circassians work steadily according to the quote: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”49 State prestige could be one of the main prominent reasons for the Russia tendency to ignore returning the Circassian rights to their owners. Seemingly, they believe that the state prestige and reputation will be shaken or even damaged. They are avoiding becoming in a position of responsibility for what happened to the entire Circassian nation.

— Notwithstanding the time elapse of more than 154 years now, the evil effects of occupation, ethnic- cleansing, genocide, and deportation remain apparent. They cannot be concealed; they still have tangible consequences. What is required now is not to punish the heirs of the perpetrators or their legal successors for their vicious atrocities. On the contrary, it is the realization and recognition of the confiscated rights of the whole nation that still has its rights denied.

— John Tasioulas has published an article and mentioned a subparagraph in regard to Human Rights as Natural Rights, which “begins with reflections on the nature, and basis, of human rights considered as moral standards.”50 Attention must be paid to the impact of human rights on peoples’ rights despite all the negative consequences of the encroachment of colonial powers. Small peoples are targeted, and so need legal protection in accordance with lofty humanitarian principles.

“Considered as moral standards, my claim is that human rights are best understood as continuous with what were once known as ‘natural rights’. This continuity is not merely historical, but conceptual: it is not simply that the tradition of natural rights thought is part of the historical lead-up to contemporary human rights discourse, but that the ethical idea at the core of the latter is essentially that of a natural right. For present purposes, it is enough to highlight two key dimensions of this idea. First, human rights are moral rights, possessed by all human beings, simply in virtue of their humanity. In other words, human rights, like natural rights, are universal moral rights. Call this the universality thesis. Second, human rights are to be identified by the use of natural reason, principally ordinary, truth-oriented moral reasoning, as opposed to the artificial reason of some institution, such as law, the conventionally accepted reasons upheld by some culture or tradition, or the deliverances of divine revelation.”51

— All peaceful citizens must be dealt with in a decent, humane manner. Where human beings are civil by nature, human civilization must be a role model to rulers and authorities. “So, an authority is legitimate when its putative subjects would likely better conform [to] the reasons that apply to them by treating the authority’s directives as binding than if they did not. This is aptly dubbed a ‘service conception’ of legitimate authority, but the adjective should not mislead us into supposing that what confers legitimacy on an authority is its role in enabling its subjects to fulfill their subjectively-given preferences or goals. Instead, the reasons in question are ultimately objective: they ultimately concern what the subjects’ goals should in fact be, not what they are.”52

— The legitimacy of military occupation and administrative dictatorship were never acceptable. The Circassian nation has never granted recognition of foreign intervention. The Russian colonization developed gradually. Then consecutive regimes of the Russian state eventually annexed Circassia into Russia, in addition to re-dividing its territories. To enhance progress in restoring Circassian usurped rights, a road plan must be prepared in order to implement the duty lying on the Circassians’ shoulders. “It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success.”53


A quotation was chosen to encourage perseverance while facing all obstacles and stumbling blocks. This quotation matches what has taken place and will be used as long as the Circassian Question has not reached a fair resolution. “Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you will survive whatever is coming.”54

The proper way to achieve this is: don’t delay today’s work until tomorrow. The right steps should be taken appropriately, which is consistent with “Doing the right things at the right time.”55

Accordingly, it is appropriate to mention what the author has published recently: “A wise man had classified men as five types: The first type serves his homeland by money, the second type by work, the third by his pen, the fourth with his life, and the fifth by silence. All of them would betray their homeland if they fail to do what they must do towards their homeland at the proper time.”56

1 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 351

2 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 376





7 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 52

8 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 54

9 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 54

10 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 70

11 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 373

12 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 294

13 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 55



17 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 342
18 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 370
21 22

24 25 26


28 and 29
30 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 455





34 and





38 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 343

39 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 376

40 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 376



42 43

49 50

53 54
56 ‘Circassia, Born to be Free’, Adel Bashqawi, page 284

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