Posted by : SAFKA Thursday, August 23, 2012

23 August marks the International Black Ribbon Day. In 2008, the European Parliament designated the day as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which contained a secret protocol that divided Europe into two spheres of influence. The treaty opened the way for wars of conquest by these two totalitarian regimes, the consequences of which are still evident throughout Europe. The Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee wishes to remind of the day's importance for peace and democracy in Europe.

In its declaration, the European Parliament referred to the United Nations convention and to international law, which state that war crimes and crimes against humanity carry no statutory limitations. The Parliament stated that the mass deportations, murders, and enslavement carried out in the context of the acts of aggression by Stalinism and Nazism must be regarded as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, the effect and significance of the era of Soviet occupation to the peoples of former communist states is little known in Europe.

Resolution 1481 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted in 2006 condemned the crimes of totalitarian communist regimes. The Bolshevik fascist regimes in Europe and elsewhere executed people for political reasons, killed captives held in concentration camps, engendered artificial famines, carried out collective deportations of population groups and entire nations, tortured political prisoners, used slave labour, and carried out other acts of mass terror against both their own citizens and those of other countries.

In June 2012, the Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee launched a campaign called "Operation Last Chance." The campaign reminds the public about the fact that the Soviet Union has failed to bear its responsibility for the war crimes that it committed in the parts of Europe that it occupied until 1991. No independent tribunal has investigated the Soviet crimes of starting destructive wars and annihilating its own citizens. Present-day Russia continues to hail war criminals as heroes.

Now is the last chance to bring the first Soviet war criminal to justice. The Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee calls for those responsible for systematic war crimes and crimes against humanity, for the murder of millions of people and monstrous atrocities, to be brought to justice. As a legal heir to the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation needs to acknowledge its responsibility for the dark side of its history. Without this, Russia's human rights violations and war crimes will continue.

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