Det kommer djupt oroande nyheter från Ryssland. Den största organisationen för ryska ursprungsbefolkningar, tillika en allierad i kampen för att skydda Arktis, har av den ryska regeringen beordrats att stängas ned.

Ryska myndigheter, med justitiedepartementet i spetsen, har förbjudit det ryska förbundet för ursprungsbefolkningar i norr (RAIPON) att bedriva verksamhet till och med April 2013. Orsaken anges vara formaliteter kring att organisationens förordningar inte går i linje med rysk lag.

RAIPON har arbetat under samma förordningar i 22 år, utan några som helst åsikter från myndigheterna. Sedan organisationen bildades 1990 har den samlat, främjat och skyddat rättigheter för 41 olika grupper med ursprungsbefolkningar i norra Ryssland. Den företräder 300 000 människor som annars saknar en röst i den politiska arenan.

Nedstängningen av RAIPON skedde dagen före Arktiska Rådets möte i Haparanda. RAIPON har varit permanent medlem av rådet sedan 1996, och dessutom skulle RAIPON deltagit i det sjunde mötet mellan ursprungsbefolkningar i norra, östra och sibiriska Ryssland i mars 2013.

I augusti 2012 stödde RAIPON, tillsammans med andra grupper, krav på att förbjuda oljeproduktion på den arktiska kontinentalsockeln i områden som används för traditionellt lantbruk. Man uppmanade alla ursprungsbefolkningar att sälla sig till kraven.

Greenpeace internationella generalsekreterare Kumi Naidoo skrev omedelbart nedanstående brev till den ryske presidenten Vladimir Putin med en uppmaning att omgående blanda sig i frågan och häva förbudet för RAIPON att bedriva sitt legitima arbete för att främja de nordryska ursprungsbefolkningarnas rättigheter och intressen.

//Therese

Kumis brev till Putin:

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to urge you to intervene as a matter of urgency to prevent the dissolution of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) on minor technicalities.

Earlier this year I participated in a conference with representatives of Russia’s Indigenous Peoples during a visit to Moscow. During the event, I was informed of their continuing struggle for self-determination and for the protection of Indigenous lands and livelihoods. There were reports of the oil industry’s reckless behavior, which has greatly contributed to the environmental destruction of vast lands and human misery. On an almost daily basis, unavoidable oil spills plague the rivers and destroy the forests of the Russian north.

As I am sure you are aware, the Indigenous Peoples of Russia have first-hand experience of this ongoing environmental disaster; rivers are dying and communities are facing increased cancer rates. For a long time, the Peoples of northern Russia have sought to have their collective voice heard, but have been met with continuing indifference at best, and at worst, with intimidation bordering on bullying.

This week, the Russian Minister of Justice ordered the main organisation representing the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic to close its doors. The legal status of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), which functions as the umbrella organisation for the majority of Indigenous Peoples in the Russian North, is under threat.

It is my understanding that the Ministry of Justice has shut down RAIPON due to an administrative rule. I am hopeful that you agree that such an important voice shouldn't be forced to dissolve because of mere technicalities.

Should RAIPON be disbanded and ousted from the Arctic Council where it has sat since the formation of the Council, it will be perceived as a deliberate attempt to silence dissenting voices in the debate on the future of the Russian Arctic and as a cynical manoeuver to silence those who speak out on the impacts of oil drilling.

RAIPON has been steadfast and courageous in helping to give a voice to the Indigenous Peoples of Russia – both nationally and internationally. Where Indigenous Peoples dare to raise their voices they must be supported and empowered; not punished for their bravery.

On behalf of Greenpeace, I appeal to you and the Russian government to ensure the future of RAIPON, including its continued participation in the Arctic Council, the body that guides cooperation in the region, where RAIPON has the status of Permanent Participants. RAIPON is a key partner in the Arctic Council and a way must be found to allow them to continue to represent the interests of Indigenous Peoples of the North there.

Sincerely,
Dr. Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International 

 

 

Agera:

Skicka ett meddelande till ryske presidenten Vladimir Putin och hans regering - be dem att upphäva beslutet och låta RAIPON fortsätta sitt viktiga arbete.