Camps Transcript

Chechen Refugee Camps Transcript

Greetings from Grozny: Inside the Chechen Conflict

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Chechen Refugee Camps Transcript

Speakers: Narrator, Rajap, Female, Male

NARRATOR: This is one of the refugee camps on Chechnya’s borders. They are an ongoing affront to Russia, visible evidence that the war is far from over.

(Drums)

There are about a quarter of a million refugees here. Tens of thousands have been in tent cities since 1999, surviving on humanitarian aid and trying to maintain their culture and traditions.

(Drums)

It is a potent symbol of fear that these cramped, cold tents are preferable to life back home in Chechnya.

RAJAP: (Translated) This is where we eat and wash. It’s all in one place. Here is the bedroom. My mother and sister sleep in this bed, and this is mine. Sometimes, when my cousin comes, we have to share the bed.

NARRATOR: Like many other of the refugees, 16-year old Rajap (ph) would rather try to educate himself than risk going back to school in Chechnya.

RAJAP: This is my English dictionary. It’s a very good book. “Happy English” is its name. This is written by Stevenson, Kidnapped, a historical book. I also have some books written by Dumas and Arthur Conan Doyle.

(Music)

NARRATOR: For months now, the Russians have been threatening to send the refugees back to their homes and the checkpoints and cleansing operations of Chechnya, by force if necessary.

FEMALE: (Translated) This war is just a political game, and we’re the pawns. But these kids don’t understand that. If they did, they wouldn’t be rushing off to die.

(Music)

MALE: (Translated) This war isn’t ending. They get two or three recruits every month. We don’t exterminate children like the Germans did, to eliminate them totally. So in a couple of years, they’ll have plenty more of these 20 year-old fighters.

(Music)

RAJAP: I want to be a lawyer. Can I speak in Russian? (Translated) I want to be a lawyer and show that the truth will prevail, that you can’t violate human rights. I’d like to become an attorney and defend human rights.

(Music)

[End of Audio]

From “Greetings From Grozny: Inside the Chechen Conflict.” Copyright 2012 by Films Media Group. All rights reserved. Adapted with permission.

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