By Shaherah Khatatbeh
AMMONNEWS - Hundreds of Jordanian - Circassians and Chechens on Saturday staged a sit-in in front of the Russian Embassy in Amman to memorialize the victims of Russian-Circassian War.
May 21st marks the 147th anniversary of Czar Russia's war of "extermination and displacement" against the Circassian people in the Northwest Caucasus.
The war started in 1763 and lasted for 100 years, resulting in the genocide and expulsion of nearly 90 percent of the Circassian population.
Most of the displaced population found refuge in Jordan, Turkey, and Syria from where they scattered around the world.
The demonstrators stood in a moment of silence on Saturday morning, and called on Russia to recognize and officially apologize for the genocide and displacement of Circassians from their historical homeland.
Circassians in the Caucasus and abroad commemorate on the 21st of May each year the genocide committed against their ancestors and their forced displacement to the former Ottoman territories by Czar Russian forces.
Today, only nearly 10 percent of Circassians reside in the historic homeland, settled in 6 units of the Russian
Federation According to unofficial statistics.
14 Circassian organizations and foundations worldwide, some located in Jordan, Turkey, and Palestine, had called for demonstrating in front of Russian Embassies and diplomatic missions to commemorate the historical struggle.
In a joint statement, the organizations said that the Russian Federation committed the first mass-extermination war in modern European history in an effort to establish its empire.
The statement stressed the need to object to holding the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Krasnodar, and Krai in Russia.
"Sochi was the capital of Circassia and witnessed the extermination and displacement of its people, this city will be the center of the Olympic Games," the statement said.
"The Circassians suffer both in their homeland and in exile from the various methods of repression, intimidation, and negative ideas, loss of their language and traditions, and worst of all, because of the policy of elimination of their national ideology, which leads to the destruction of the Circassian national identity," a Circassian demonstrator told Ammon News on Saturday.
According to unofficial statistics more than 150 thousands of Circassians and Chechans - the largest ethnic group in Jordan- hold Jordanian citizenship.
The ethnic group has 3 representational quota seats in the Jordanian parliament.