|As members of IQLA, we are aware that academia is an apolitical sphere whose primary goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the world. The humanities, and especially linguistics, have always built bridges between societies and people and are open to linguistic and cultural diversity. However, there are moments in history when scholars should take a clear stand on non-scientific issues because the fundamental values we profess and respect are being violated. We are experiencing just such a moment now.
On February 24, 2022, the armed forces of the Russian Federation attacked sovereign and independent Ukraine, thereby causing the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. The Russians and their allies are bombing and shelling cities with rockets, indiscriminately hitting civilian facilities, including hospitals, schools, kindergartens, theatres and shopping centers. Major cities are being turned into rubble. Among the victims of the war are defenseless civilians, including children and patients in hospitals or homes for the elderly. Russian soldiers are seen on camera plundering private apartments and stores. The property of many generations of Ukrainians is being unlawfully destroyed or stolen. Ukraine is being obliterated simply because it wants to remain an independent state.
As an international scientific society with a special responsibility for intercultural communication, we view these acts of aggression with repugnance. Our cooperation has always been based on respect for the rights and dignity of others. Thus it is imperative that we speak out against all aggression, and express our hope for a just and lasting peace to return to all of Europe, and indeed the world.