Petition Closed
Petitioning U.N. Global Compact Office Mr. Walid Nagi and 6 others

Save Khimki Forest: Stand with Russia's Human Rights and Environmental Activists


Take action to save Russia's Khimki Forest today. 

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Russian activists and journalists have survived beatings, arrests and intimidation during our campaign to save one of Moscow's last old-growth forests from destruction. Our movement to reroute the toll highway that would cut through Khimki Forest has become Russia's most inspiring and largest activist movements in a long time.

It is about more than just a forest.

We are fighting a legacy of corruption and bribery among government officials, law enforcement and industry that has allowed this project to move forward. Last year, after thousands of citizens protested in Moscow's center, we won a huge victory when President Dmitry Medvedev temporarily halted construction. One of our lead organizers, Yevgenia Chirikova, is a mother of two who lives in Khimki and who has bravely spearheaded this campaign since 2007 at direct risk to her family's safety.

Now construction is set to begin again.

As soon as this month, the French multinational construction company Vinci is authorized to begin the first phase of the highway.

This is the best chance for us to stop the project before construction crews arrive. We are turning to you to increase our international support.

Since the Russian government has failed us, we are targeting Vinci, which could make a huge profit from this project. It is the only Western company involved in the construction.

We are asking Vinci to end its involvement in the Moscow to St. Petersburg highway until an alternative route that spares Khimki Forest is selected.

We are also organizing an international week of action from April 24th to April 30th. We hope cities around the world will participate in demonstrations in solidarity. One action you can take to stand up for the environment and human rights in Russia is to support this petition.

Please sign now. You may also leave a personal message when you sign. And for more information on how to get involved email info@khimkiforest.org or follow this Facebook page. Please tell us if you represent an environment or human rights group and want to sign a coalition letter of support.

Thank you, Save Khimki Forest Movement and Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages

Letter to
U.N. Global Compact Office Mr. Walid Nagi
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vinci Investor Relations
and 4 others
Vinci Press Office
Vinci CEO Xavier Huillard
Pierre Lellouce, Secretary of state in charge of exterior commerce French Government
President Dmitry Medvedev
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with Vinci for its involvement in destroying Russia's Khimki Forest.

We are asking Vinci to live up to its UN Global Compact commitments. By joining the Compact Vinci's has committed to "support and respect internationally proclaimed human rights" and to make sure it is not "complicit in human rights abuses." One glance at the list of human rights abuses against Khimki Forest activists, and it is clear that Vinci is violating its compact with its involvement in the project.

Ecological nihilism and human rights abuses, including beatings, attacts on the forest defenders by people wearing Nazi symbolics, who were officially hired by the construction company, unlawful arrests and intimidation, have occurred against activists who are protesting the plans.

As the only Western company involved in the highway building, I ask that you pull out of the project or refuse to begin construction until the Russian government chooses an alternative route that spares the Khimki Forest and addresses the human rights abuses that have occurred.

Sincerely,

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Mesdames/Messieurs,

Nous vous écrivons pour exprimer notre profonde déception du fait que la société VINCI est impliquée dans un barbare projet de destruction de la forêt de Khimki.

Nous rappelons à Vinci de se mettre en conformité avec ses engagements des principes de responsabilité sociétale (UN Global Compact commitments). En adhérent au Pacte mondial, la société Vinci' s'est engagée « à promouvoir et à respecter les droits de l'homme reconnus sur le plan international » et à s'assurer de « ne pas se faire complices de violations des droits fondamentaux. » Il suffit en effet de jeter un coup d'œil sur les violations des droits de l'homme perpétrées contre les militants de Khimki Forest Movement pour constater l'évidence de ce triste fait que Vinci ne tient pas ses propres engagements.

L'ignorance écologique ainsi que le mépris envers l’environnement ont donné lieu aux actes d’incivilité, dont la transgression des droits de l'homme, y inclus le matraquage des défenseurs de la Forêt par les gens arborant les symboles nazi, qui ont été officiellement recrutés par la société de construction.

Les défenseurs de la Forêt qui se sont opposés à ce projet se sont vus arrêter de façon illégale et ont été souvent intimidés.

Nous vous demandons en tant que seule société occidentale impliquée dans la construction de l'autoroute de vous retirer de ce projet et d'abstenir à y participer avant que le gouvernement russe ne trouve une solution alternative pour la route Moscou-St-Petersburg, tout en tenant compte des abus des droits de l'homme en l'occurrence.

Cordialement,