15 August 2008
Urgent Action: Condemn Russia's Use of Cluster Bombs in Georgia
Georgians look at the remnants of an RBK-250 cluster bomb dropped by Russian aircraft on the village of Ruisi, near South Ossetia, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. © AP photos / Sergei GritsRussia has dropped cluster bombs in Georgia killing 11 civilians and injuring many more, Human Rights Watch have confirmed. This attack takes place just over 2 months after more than 107 countries agreed to ban cluster bombs because of the harm they cause to civilians.We urgently need you to take action and condemn Russia's use of cluster bombs in Georgia. Urge Russia to immediately stop using cluster bombs and to provide strike data to facilitate the clearance effort. Call on your government to speak out against Russia's use of a weapon that 107 governments have just agreed to ban because of the harm they cause to civilians. Russia's use of cluster bombs in Georgia and urge the international community to speak out.ACTIONS1. Issue a press release and call your media contacts and prominent supporters.CMC Press Release (15 August 2008) "Cluster Munition Coalition condemns Russian use of cluster bombs in Georgia"HRW Press Release (15 August 2008) "Georgia: Russian Cluster Bombs Kill Civilians"2. Contact the Russian embassy in your country.Template letter to Russian representationsYou can find a list of Russian embassies here:http://www.rusembassy.org/3. Write to Russian President Medvedev. Download a template letter.Template letter to Russian representations President Dmitry MedvedevStaraya pl. 42103132 MoscowTel: +7 495 925 3581Fax: +7 495 206 5173Email: firstname.lastname@example.org://president.kremlin.ru/3. Organise a protest outside the Russian embassy in your country. ‘107 countries have just banned cluster bombs - Russia has just killed civilians with them'http://www.rusembassy.org/Protests taking place:London, UK: Monday, 17 August, 10.30 - 12.30 at the Russian Embassy (6 -7 Kensignton Palace Gardens)Oslo, Norway: Monday, 17 August, 11.00 - 13.00 at the Russian Embassy (Drammensveien 74) Wellington, New Zealand: Monday, 17 August, 12.00 at the Russian Embassy (57 Messines Road) Dublin, Ireland: Wednesday, 19 August, 12.00 - 13.00 at the Russian Embassy (184-186 Orwell Road)4. Write to your government and urge them to condemn Russia's use of cluster bombs. Particularly if your government is one of the 107 countries that has just agreed to ban cluster bombs.Template letter to your governmentKEY MESSAGES AND INFORMATION (source: Human Rights Watch):
- On 12 August Russian aircraft dropped cluster bombs on the town on Ruisi and the town of Gori in Georgia killing 11 civilians and injuring more.
- The cluster bombs used are: RBK-250 cluster bombs that each contain 30 PTAB 2.5M submunitions.
- 107 countries negotiated a treaty to ban cluster bombs just over 2 months ago because of the harm that they cause to civilians both during and after attacks
- Russia's use of cluster bombs shows it is out of step with the efforts of the international community to protect civilians from the effects of these indiscriminate weapons
- This attack highlights the harm caused by these weapons and the urgent need for governments to sign the treaty banning cluster bombs this December in Oslo
- Russia has condemned the use of cluster bombs by other nations and highlighted its own clearance of cluster bombs in Serbia so this use in Georgia is the worst hypocrisy