Former Beslan hostages seek political asylum

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BESLAN (North Caucasus republic), September 1 (RIA Novosti) - The former Beslan hostages have asked for political asylum "in any country where human rights are observed."

Representatives of The Mothers of Beslan, a public organization formed by mothers of victims of the terrorist attacks, handed out leaflets to this effect to foreign journalists at mourning ceremonies in Beslan Thursday.

The authors of the document vehemently criticized the way authorities reacted to and investigated the events in Beslan.

The document said that parents and relatives of the people killed in the terrorist attack on September 3 at school No. 1 in Beslan "have lost all hope in a fair investigation of the causes" of the tragedy and in bringing to justice those responsible.

"We ask for political asylum in any country where human rights are observed... We ask you to let us into your country where we will be law-abiding citizens respecting your laws," the document said.

The document said more than 500 signatures had been collected but the signatures themselves were not on the document.

The Beslan hostage tragedy claimed the lives of 330 people, including 186 children. Terrorists held parents, pupils, and staff hostage for three days in a local school before federal troops stormed the building. In all, 918 people were rescued.

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