Опубликовано 15/11/07 в 19:17:59 GMT+02:00 EuRuChess
Four months ago, on July the 14th, we appealed to FIDE, ACP and ECU stressing that ECF discriminates our children by violating their right to participate in youth World and European championships. Following our appeal on August the 5th a meeting of ACP and FIDE was held in Moscow. As a result, FIDE sent over to ECF a letter of investigation.
On October the 31st at the youth team championship of Estonia the ECF CEO Mr.H.Olde staged a meeting of trainers and made an attempt to get their response regarding the FIDE letter. The coaches did not give any answer. However, this fact reveals although indirectly that the Estonian laws do not forbid children to play in youth World and European competitions - otherwise this question would not be put to our trainers.
The direct proof is the Sport Act and its paragraph 8, which ECF has distorted more than once to justify the discrimination of our children. According to the explanation we have received from the Chancellor of Justice of Estonia, the Sport Act does not concern youth World and European championships. Another proof is the periodic reports which the Estonian authorities (Ministry of Culture and Olympic Committee) send to the Council of Europe. For example, in the latest report it is declared that Article 19 of the Constitution (The right to free self-realization) guarantees the equal participation in sport of all, without exception, residents of Estonia. Thus, the actions of ECF discriminating Russian children are obviously absolutely intentional, they are not based on laws and they aim at destroying their chess careers.
On the eve of the Youth European Championship in September 2007 in Sibenik, Croatia, European Chess Union decided that the Russian children of Estonia can participate in youth World and European championships under the auspices of FIDE as extra-players, that is, they should go into considerable material expenses. We do not understand why apart from moral sufferings experienced by our children from ECF, they must also be punished materially. For example, Artem Fedorov who received after his success in the Championship of Estonia in 2007 in the under-10 category the right to play in Shibenik as an invited player, he has now to play as an extra-player.
Yesterday, on November the 11th, ECF spread on its site http://www.maleliit.ee its response to FIDE’s letter. As the principal premise ECF took up an absolutely false assertion that a child born in Estonia can automatically receive Estonian citizenship. However, on November the 4th the Government of Estonia turned down the bill according to which it was presumed to grant automatically citizenship to the children whose parents were apatrides; without any mention of the citizens of other countries. According to the statistics of 2007, Estonia numbers about 119,000 Russian citizens and about 126,000 apatrides out of the total 1,342,409 population of Estonia.
The shortage of space does not permit us to present more proof that the other part of ECF’s response to FIDE has nothing to do with the true presentation of facts. Therefore we ask FIDE to pay special attention to the first paragraph of the ECF response where we are threatened with a frame up in court. The situation in Estonian chess has been known since 1993 (when ECF did not let Svetalana Zainetdinova, a Russian citizen, to play at the women’s zonal tournament for the world championship). The new leadership in FIDE, since May 2001, knows the situation in ECF when children became objects of discrimination, the children who for various reasons do not have Estonian citizenship. However, so far FIDE does not take any drastic decisions on ECF and the threat of ECF to us, defending the rights of our children, can become a reality.
We ask FIDE to defend our children, to defend the Russian chess players, chess players without citizenship and citizens of other countries. We ask FIDE: do not forget they are CHILDREN. We ask FIDE: do not forget the words "Gens Una Sumus". We ask FIDE to remember the Preamble of the International Convention against apartheid in sports ratified by Estonia in 1991 quoting "merit should be the sole criterion for participation in sports activities".
Taking into account the policy and the practice of discrimination for years of ECF in regard to its players as well as numerous and cynical violations of the Statuses and Handbook of FIDE, we ask FIDE to consider the question of ECF membership in FIDE.
In conclusion we draw FIDE’s attention to the fact that this year Estonia has been visited by some international political figures such as PACE President Renи van der Linden and Doudou Diиne, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. They confirmed the facts of discrimination in Estonia in regard to non-citizens.