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This Happened

This Happened — September 1: Beslan School Hostage Crisis

The Beslan school hostage crisis began on this day in 2004.

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What was the Beslan school hostage crisis?

The Beslan school hostage crisis was a violent terrorist attack that occurred in September 2004, in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia. Armed militants took over School Number One, holding hostage more than one thousand people, mostly children and their parents, for several days in the school's gymnasium. The crisis lasted for three days, during which hostages were denied food, water, and medical attention.

What were the motivations behind the attack?

The hostage-takers were a group of Chechen separatist militants, primarily from the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs. They sought to gain attention for their cause of Chechen independence from Russia and to put pressure on the Russian government to end the conflict in Chechnya. They believed that a large-scale, high-profile attack would draw international attention to their struggle.

What were the outcomes of the crisis?

The crisis ended in a violent and chaotic rescue attempt by Russian security forces on September 3, 2004. The rescue operation resulted in a firefight and explosions, causing numerous casualties, including many hostages. Over 330 people, including 186 children, lost their lives, and hundreds more were injured. The aftermath led to significant public outcry and criticism of both the militants and the Russian government's handling of the crisis.

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Violence Against Women, The Patriarchy And Responsibility Of The Good Men Too

The femicide of Giulia Cecchettin has shaken Italy, and beyond. Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra looks at what lies behind femicides and why all men must take more responsibility.

photo of a young man holding a sign: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

A protester's sign referring to the alleged killer reads: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press via ZUMA Press
Ignacio Pereyra

Updated Dec. 3, 2023 at 10:40 p.m.


ATHENS — Are you going to write about what happened in Italy?, Irene, my partner, asks me. I have no idea what she's talking about. She tells me: a case of femicide has shaken the country and has been causing a stir for two weeks.

As if the fact in itself were not enough, I ask what is different about this murder compared to the other 105 women murdered this year in Italy (or those that happen every day around the world).

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We are talking about a country where the expression "fai l'uomo" (be a man) abounds, with a society so prone to drama and tragedy and so fond of crime stories as few others, where the expression "crime of passion" is still mistakenly overused.

In this context, the sister of the victim reacted in an unexpected way for a country where femicide is not a crime recognized in the penal code, contrary to what happens, for example, in almost all of Latin America.

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