The following text is a translation from the declaration of the russian PEN-Organisation from December 1999:
INTERNATIONAL PEN CLUB
THE WRITERS WORLD ORGANIZATION
THE ASSOCIATED MEMBER of UNESCO
The Moscow HEADQUARTERS
RUSSIAN PEN CENTRE
To the president of Russian Federation
We pay your attention that during the last months the threat to the basic gain of democracy in Russia - and to freedom of speech - has reached the critical point.
It is very tragic that there is no authentic information, that there is even complete disinformation about military operations in Chechnya. As a matter of fact censorship here is started, that contradicts the constitution of Russia.
The Result is the artificial discharge of public opinion and society from participation in this major event in today's life of Russia. It is given up to the militaries, which remain absolutely uncontrolled and outside the jurisdiction of public opinion.
We especially care not only about life and health of the Chechen people, but also of the moral health of all Russian population.
This absence of information from Chechnya occurs on a background of total suppression of freedom of speech on all political space of Russia. The facts of rough suppression of freedom of speech in the Far East, Bashkortostan, St.-Petersburg, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk and other regions of Russia are widely known from the recent time.
We would like to remind, that if democracy begins from GLASNOST and freedom of speech, the suppression of freedom of speech proofs the beginning of curtailing of democratic processes.
Executive committee of Russian PEN centre