Press Releases
Photo Gallery
Print This

Senator Sam Brownback, Chairman
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
www.csce.gov
March 3, 2005

HELSINKI COMMISSION LEADERS TO PRESIDENT PUTIN:
"THE BOOKS ARE OVERDUE"


(Washington) - United States Helsinki Commission leaders have written to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking that he take every appropriate measure to secure the return of the Schneerson Collection of sacred Jewish books and manuscripts to the Lubavitch Chasidic community to whom a Russian court awarded the collection almost fourteen years ago.

The collection, which was seized by the Soviet Government in the 1920s, is currently held by the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive.

The letter was signed by Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD).

The Commissioners note that in November 1991, the Russian Federation Arbitration Court ordered the collection returned to the Lubavitch community. “However,” the letter continues, “government officials responsible for carrying out the court's decision refused to do so and the Russian State Duma subsequently sought to annul the court's decision, calling into question the integrity of the rule of law in Russia.”

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” concluded the Commissioners, who promised to raise the issue of the Schneerson collection at every appropriate opportunity and venue.

Last month, the United States Senate sent a letter signed by all 100 Senators requesting President Putin to assist in returning the collection. A similar letter, signed by all 100 Senators, was sent to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1992.

The February 22, 2005 Helsinki Commission letter is available on the Commission’s web site at www.csce.gov.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Ben Anderson
202.225.1901
# # #

Countries

Russian Federation

Issues

Racism/Anti-Semitism


   
 

Recent Press Releases

July 2014

May 2014

December 2011

November 2011

July 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

December 2010

Click here for the previous year's Press Releases




Print This

CSCE :: Image Galleries
Please select an image gallery:
02/07/08 Anti-Semitism Hearing (Part 2) 1 Images
04/10/08 Iraqi Refugee Crisis 1 Images
Featured Photos 38 Images

Label for Featured Photo
Featured Photo
Representative McIntyre, Representative Hastings, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, and Senator Cardin, meet at the U.S. Capitol June 10, 2009