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The Hippocratic Vigils
Independent WHO
maintained since 26 April 2007

The vigil is held in front of the World Health Organisation (WHO) building. It has been maintained since the 26th April 2007, each working day between 8am and 6pm, to remind this United Nations body of its duties as they are defined in its Constitution.

Up to now, 210 people have participated in the Vigil in front of WHO. They come from several European countries and also some from America (Read the accounts of the first few vigils). About 40 of them are "local", either Swiss or French living within a radius of about 50km from Geneva. These are the people who relieve others for lunch breaks and “anti-freeze” breaks in the middle of winter. In unforeseen circumstances -- health problems, last-minutes cancellations -- we rely on a group of 20 “stalwarts”.

The vigil is maintained by individuals on their own or in groups up to a maximum of three. People sign up for half a day, a full day, a few days or the whole week. Those who come to do the Vigil are offered hospitality by a network of “hosts” (numbering 15). The people doing the vigil have to bear the cost of travel to Geneva and their own food themselves. The choreography for this ballet of hosts and vigilers is orchestrated by Paul Roullaud.

The vigil has also been maintained by distinguished members of the scientific, medical and political communities.

Mr Yablokov, Mrs Goncharova and Mr Nesterenko - 27th April 2008
WHO vigil

Mme Rosa Goncharova, généticienne bélarusse Mrs Rosa Goncharova, Belarusian Geneticist
We need a lot of support from other countries because the health consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are being covered up. For that reason I give my thanks to our foreign supporters for this help. I am absolutely certain that without this international support, there would be almost total silence about the health consequences of Chernobyl. So, thank you very much. I am very impressed by these people who have been protesting for such a long time, for a whole year. It is not easy, because everybody is very busy, everybody needs their time and their money. To come to Geneva, to stay there, to find lodgings. It is a very impressive protest. So I thank you very much, both as a Belarusian citizen and a Belarusian scientist.
M Alexei Yablokov, écologue russe Mr Alexei Yablokov, Russian Ecologist
As we try to evaluate the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, we come up against official falsification of the figures. On a governmental and international level. The World Health Organisation is not telling us the truth, because it is tied to the IAEA by the scandalous Accord of 1959. It is an extraordinary situation which calls for extraordinary measures to bring it to an end.

I am greatly encouraged by what you are doing. Your permanent vigil is a very unusual action, very strong . . . it is truly amazing, it is absolutely vital to keep it going. We have to force the World Health Organisation to tell the truth, which means breaking this Agreement.

There is a second dimension to your action, which you may not even be aware of. That is the significance of your action for the stricken countries, for Belarus, for Russia, for Ukraine. For those of us who are fighting for the truth in these countries, it is very important, that gives us an enormous strength, a new strength: the fact of knowing that you are there, that every day there will be at least one person here. That tells us that we are not alone with this misfortune. That the world is listening to us, that it sees us, that a new humanity is rising.
M Vassili Nesterenko, physicien bélarusse Mr Vassili Nesterenko, Belarusian Physicist
I want to say to you here: as long as we have the support of friends, we continue to hope that the victims will survive. I am one of the 800,000 liquidators injured by Chernobyl. These are truly the forgotten men in our country. Tens of thousands of them have already left this world, they are no longer able to speak. In the name of the others, to all of you on this Vigil, I wish you courage and a long life, that you may remain here until victory is achieved. I wish all of you good health, just as we had, all of us liquidators, before we arrived at the reactor. We were all young and full of strength. Thank you.

Mrs Danielle Mitterrand
28th March 2008

Mrs Danielle Mitterrand, fondation “France Liberté”, 28th March 2008
Mr Rémy Pagani
6th July 2009

Mr Rémy Pagani (the current Mayor of Geneva) in front 
of WHO, 6th July 2009
the Mayor of Geneva from 1st June 2009 to 31st May 2010
M Valéry Zaïtsev
from 3-4 December 2009

Valéry Zaïtsev, liquidator of Chernobyl in front 
of WHO from 3rd to 4th December 2009
Liquidator of Chernobyl
  Mr Ravi Narayan, 26th April 2007
Mr Ravi Narayan
26th April 2007

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