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Discrimination and negative discourse against Roma and Sinti must stop, say participants at OSCE human rights conference
Discrimination and negative discourse against Roma and Sinti must stop, say participants at OSCE human rights conference
Governments in OSCE participating States urgently need to tackle persistent discrimination and negative public and political discourse targeting Roma and Sinti. They are unfortunately frequent targets of prejudiced portrayals by politicians and public officials, said participants at the OSCE’s annual human rights conference in Warsaw on 5 October.
“We observe an increasing number of reported incidents involving populist politicians who scapegoat Roma and Sinti in their public speeches to gain electoral support,” said ODIHR First Deputy Director Douglas Wake. “These developments have the potential to erupt into open conflicts.”
A joint statement by 30 Roma activists from across Europe warned that, in many instances, negative stereotypes of Roma are supported by the media.
“Very often we witness hateful, populist rhetoric that caters to anti-Gypsy public opinion being used not only by extremist parties, but by mainstream ones,” the statement said.
Jeroen Schokkenbroek, the Council of Europe Secretary General’s Special Representative for Roma Issues said that hostile and provocative public discourse concerning Roma and Sinti deepens inter-ethnic tensions and perpetuate prejudices.
Referring to instances of incitement to hatred against Roma, he said that “quick and decisive action is needed not only to bring culprits to justice but also to avoid escalation.”
Participants underlined the need to fully implement the OSCE Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti in continuing work to close the economic and social gaps between Roma and Sinti, on the one hand, and wider societies in the countries in which they live, on the other hand.
Racist ‘justice’ in Berlo’s Italy
known in the naval colony where she lived as both being very beautiful as well as a great flirt. Clearly, the English girl was not happy at the low salary of her husband,and was swept up by the much wealthier Ahuja, with whom she soon began spending afternoons. After months, word of such trysts reached Commander Nanavati, who went to Ahuja’s flat to investigate, a visit that ended in the businessman’s death.
India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, did not trust the people of India, although he spoke and wrote in words of praise for them. This mistrust resulted in him insisting in retaining the colonial system of law, complete with codes and procedures. He also retained the entire civil service mechanism that had been perfected by the British as an instrument of control. Indeed, so complete was Nehru’s admiration for British-oriented Indians that he gave the top job in the External Affairs Ministry to Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai, who had passionately argued in numerous world capitals that the people of India were unfit to govern themselves, and that rule from London should continue indefinitely. In a country truly committed to change, this would have earned Bajpai either prison or exile. But in Nehru’s India, he and all others who fought against freedom were honoured and given top jobs. When Nehru heard of the verdict of innocence in the Ahuja murder case, he lost his temper and saw to it that the jury system was cast overboard across the country. From then onwards, the sole responsibility for ascertaining the guilt or innocence of an accused would lie with the magistrate or judge, with the general public reduced to the status of observers. This was in line with Nehruvian ideology, which gives all powers to the governmental authorities, even in matters that in a democracy ought to be within the discretion of the citizen. Even to this day, the colonial structure of governance retained by Nehru ensures that a citizen has to petition the government in myriad ways throughout his or her lifetime, petitions that usually get granted only after bribes get paid. Not surprisingly, corrupt officials and politicians swear by the Nehruvian system, as it guarantees them riches. To take just one example, much of the family of Sheikh Abdullah, the “Lion of Kashmir” spend vast stretches of time in London, living there on a scale that can only be described as luxurious. Given that Sheikh Abdullah’s son Farooq has been a full-time politician for more than three decades ( on a measly salary) as is the case with his own son Omar, it is difficult to guess how a family with such low salary incomes can afford to live so luxuriously in London and Dubai.
The Abdullah family is not alone. Almost every family that is linked to top political leaders enjoys a similar standard of living, that too in the most expensive cities of the world. Small wonder that they – and the officials who join in the spoils – are refusing to surrender the colonial powers that they enjoy more than six decades after the country became independent. Even in a matter such as trial by jury (which ought to be the right of any citizen), the public has been removed from any say. Of course, it must be admitted that in the Nanavati case, the jury’s verdict of “not guilty” was wrong. Clearly, emotion got the better of reason. However, this was not reason enough to abandon the entire system of Trial by Jury. Now Italy has given another example of how a jury can be influenced by subjective factors and give a verdict that flies in the face of the evidence. Four years ago, a mixed-race woman, Meredith Kircher, was brutally attacked and murdered by a set of pathological individuals. Despite a media campaign in the US to free her, suspect Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Solecito were sent to jail for a term of 26 years. With a viciousness belied by her innocent looks, Amanda Knox sought to implicate an innocent black man of the crime. In Italy, people are trained by history and by tradition to look upon people of a dark hue with suspicion, so on the word f Knox, the man was arrested. However, after he was jailed on the false evidence provided by Knox, the truth came out and he was released. A second black man was jailed as an accomplice to Knox and Solecito. Now, four years later, only the black man is in jail. Solecito and Knox are free, even though he was only found guilty of being their helper in the heinous torture, rape and murder of the mixed-race Meredith Kircher. Clearly, the Italian judges and jury do not see the absurdity of finding Knox and Solecito not guilty, but their presumed accomplice still guilty. If only the jailed man looked First World, the way the other two do, perhaps he too would be free.
Italy is a society where racism exists in strong doses. Some time ago, a gypsy girl drowned off a beach in that country. There were more than three thousand onlookers sunning themselves on the beach and even inthe water. However, because the girl was a gypsy, not a single person swam up to her and saved her. Instead, several taunted her from the seashore, hurling abuse at her and at gypsies in general. Had India a government less dominated by an exaggerated respect for its former colonial masters and their lands, it would have focussed on the Roma people of Europe and given them the $2 billion that was donated recently to the very European financial institutions that lent recklessly to countries only because they were European. However, not a euro has gone to the Roma, who remain persecuted and discriminated against in a Europe obsessed with ethnicity. Here in India, the Italian relatives of a prominent family take care to remain as far apart from Indians as possible on their visits to the country, mixing mostly with Europeans from embassies and business houses. Thus far, although they visit the country often and use government-provided facilities liberally, they have not given a single interview to an Indian publication. Of course, given the fear that the Indian media have of offending VVIPs, neither have they been bothered by any papparazzi.
India is no Europe Each time television cameras panned to where the mother of Meredith Kircher was standing, viewers could see that she had a Third World appearance, unlike the two defendants and their families. all of whom were First World and looked it. Small wonder that the judges and the jury gave the two First Worlders the benefit of the doubt, ignoring the Third World unfortunate still jailed as an accessory (to culprits found innocent) as well as the pain and suffering of Meredith Kircher’s mother. The parents of Knox and Solecito must know the truth about their children, and neither has lost a child the way the mother of the victim has. By its perverse judgment, based on “evidence” helpfully supplied to it by the well-paid defense team, the judges and the jury in Perugia that acquitted Knox and Solecito have once again shown that the ideological foundation of the European Union is built on the principle of ethnicity. And as this columnist has pointed out since the early 1990s,this is the precise reason why the “Europeans Only” experiment will fail, in a world where multiculturalism is a must for human advancement
By their frank adherence to racism, the authorities in the EU do an injustice to their citizens. Even in the 1930s, there were hundreds of thousands of Britons who wanted to see India free, just as slavery was defeated by millions of Americans guided by Abraham Lincoln. Indeed, it can be said that the peoples of Europe are – on balance – the most liberal in the world, and the group least prone to the sort of nihilism that has been seen in places such as Ruwanda, with Bosnia being the exception. Unless the EU adopts a policy on migration and on trade that is based on the universality of humankind rather than the exceptionalism of the European, it will fail, the way Italian justice has in the tragic case of Meredith Kircher.
The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.
Police pull back in north Bohemia
Special unit takes lower profile as social protests shift to bigger cities
By Benjamin Cunningham – Staff Writer
AFP Photo: Riot police arrest a protester during an anti-Roma demonstration in Varnsdorf, north Bohemia, Sept. 10, that attracted thousands.
A special unit of riot police has been withdrawn from the north Bohemian town of Nový Bor amid concerns that they were doing more harm than good amid continued tensions between the minority Roma and majority white population, according to a City Hall source.
The move comes as public protests in regional towns fade but are seemingly making their way from small towns to larger cities, with one protest in Prague Oct. 1 and another scheduled to take place in the regional north Bohemian city of Ústí nad Labem Oct. 8.
“The local police can cope with situation with their own forces and own means,” a Police Presidium spokesman said of the decision to withdraw the riot unit.
Nový Bor Mayor Jaromír Dvořák (TOP 09) told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the change took him by surprise.
“No one sent any word, and now they’re gone,” he said Sept. 30. “The [local] police patrols will only be reinforced on nights and weekends.”
Deploying the specially trained riot police cost some 890,000 Kč per day, according to Police Presidium spokesman Jan Melša.
“The most costly aspect is naturally the policemen’s wages,” he said, while speaking to TV Nova.
Interior Ministry officials said they are looking for ways to bolster the police budget amid the unexpected costs.
In another north Bohemian town, Rumburk, Roma patrols of their own community seemingly proved successful in helping to quell tensions, but a proposal from the Roma community to stage joint patrols with the police department has been rejected by city leaders.
“On the contrary, we want [the Roma] to actively integrate their children into child groups, starting with kindergartens,” Deputy Mayor Ladislav Pokorný (Social Democrats) told ČTK.
Jan Demeter, who touts himself as the leader of Rumburk’s Roma community, called the decision not to stage joint patrols “a pity,” but the perceived success of the earlier patrols has led officials in Varnsdorf to say they are also considering Roma-led patrols of their own community.
In August, two assaults on whites by members of the Roma minority were the flashpoint for weeks of protests in the towns of Varnsdorf, Nový Bor, Šluknov and Rumburk. But roots of the problem run much deeper, as real estate profiteers have sought to take advantage of state social housing subsidies, spurring an influx of largely unemployed Roma in recent months.
“The Ústí region began intentionally moving Gypsies from Most into the Šluknov area,” said one local resident, who declined to be named.
In several towns the same pattern has repeated, with vacant buildings being converted into dormitory-style living and landlords able to directly collect subsidies for providing housing to the socially disadvantaged.
Demonstrations in the towns continue, but appear to be losing steam. There was a pair of demonstrations in north Bohemia Oct. 2, one drawing about 50 people in Rumburk, and 150 people turned out in Varnsdorf. Both events came off without incident, and there are indications that public frustration may be shifting from blaming the Roma minority to blaming elected officials.
In a late September rally in Varnsdorf, demonstrators marched on the home of Deputy Mayor Josef Poláček (Civic Democrats). Previous rallies were followed by marches toward housing projects primarily occupied by Roma.
In Ústí nad Labem, a protest is poised to go ahead Oct. 8.
“We support the rights of decent citizens, irrespective of the color of their skin, and we wish that the situation, which has not yet assumed the dimensions like in the Šluknov area, will be solved quickly and for the long term,” reads the announcement for the protest.
In a move that echoes earlier efforts to capitalize on the racial tensions, a spokesman for the extreme right-wing Workers Party for Social Justice said that the party will also participate in the demonstration.
- Filip Šenk and Klára Jiřičná contributed to this report.
Benjamin Cunningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulgarian and Czech PMs discuss Romani minority and Schengen
Prague, 7.10.2011 10:27, (ROMEA)
Bulgarian Prime Minister Bojko Borissov and other members of his government visited their Czech counterparts in Prague on Tuesday. The central topic of their negotiations was an evaluation of bilateral relations to date with a view to strengthening them in the future.
Borissov’s visit was meant to contribute to strengthening Bulgarian-Czech relations, to provide the opportunity for an exchange of opinions regarding EU and international affairs, and to expand opportunities for the further development of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of culture, economics, and politics. At the start of Tuesday’s press conference, the Ministers of Culture of both countries signed an agreement on cultural cooperation.
Czech PM Petr Nečas said the various countries that are imposing extra conditions on Bulgaria’s access to the Schengen area are, in his view, not behaving either correctly or fairly in accordance with European principles. Neither Bulgaria nor Romania succeeded in joining Europe’s free movement zone at the end of September. While these most recent EU Member States did meet the technical conditions necessary for entry into Schengen (such as border security), some other EU Member States have criticized them for their deficient approach to the fight against corruption and organized crime. Unanimous agreement by all of the members of Schengen is required for its expansion. Finland and the Netherlands, for example, opposed the addition of Bulgaria and Romania.
Speaking on Tuesday, Nečas emphasized the opinion of the Czech Government as a whole (as well as his personal opinion) that the accession of Bulgaria into Schengen should be supported. “We consider it incorrect and unfair for more requirements to be made of Bulgaria that go above and beyond the usual conditions for accession,” Nečas said.
Bulgarian PM Borissov told the press that his country has met the Schengen criteria. “I believe the other EU Member States will not allow such behavior. It reduces the prestige of the EU and poses an enormous danger and threat to EU integrity,” he said, adding that the precedent of rejecting the acceptance of Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen will affect all other EU accession countries. Borissov also said nothing would change Bulgaria’s efforts to fully integrate the country into all European structures. “We will protect the EU as it wishes,” he said.
“The Bulgarian Government and the Czech Government both refuse to establish a deadline for joining the euro – no one knows how that project is going to develop,” Nečas said after the meeting. Borissov confirmed that his country is in no hurry to join the eurozone. “We don’t want to enter directly into debt,” he said. “We both belong to a coalition of countries whose governments are fiscally responsible,” the Czech PM emphasized.
The topic of the Romani minority in both countries was also discussed. Like the towns in the Šluknov foothills, some Bulgarian cities have been shaken by large displays of anti-Roma unrest. Several thousand people have been demonstrating in the capital, Sofia, and the State Security Council has convened to discuss the issue. Borissov stressed on Tuesday that almost all Eastern European states have similar problems and said Bulgaria is doing his best to motivate school attendance by children living in socially excluded localities. Unlike the Czech Republic, Bulgaria has historically had many such ghettos on its territory for decades. “In our country we too are doing our best to get children living in these socially excluded localities into the schools. That is our primary task. We even subsidize snacks for them and do our best to motivate their school attendance so Romani children can become educated,” Borissov said.
Nečas said the Czech Republic intends to address Romani community affairs through integration and reducing social exclusion. He reminded the press that the Government has recently adopted a “Strategy for the Fight against Social Exclusion”, saying the Czech Government perceives the problem as a social one and wants to promote the same “rights and responsibilities” for all citizens.
After meeting with PM Nečas, PM Borissov was welcomed to Prague Castle by Czech President Václav Klaus just after noon. After meeting with the Czech head of state, he then met with the head of the Czech Senate, Senator Milan Štěch (Czech Social Democrats – ČSSD). On Tuesday evening Borissov and Klaus opened an exhibition entitled “Jewels of Bulgarian Icons from the 15th-19th Centuries” in the Rožmberk Palace at Prague Castle. Borissov returned home on Wednesday.
The Return of the Gypsies
Call it what you will, Bulgaria’s riots show that the “Roma issue” is really a nest of problems we haven’t yet faced.
Everything seemed ominous, including the name: Katunitsa. Katun is an old Bulgarian term for “camp.” Its origins are unclear; in Albanian it means “village.” But in contemporary Bulgarian katun has a clear translation: “camp of gypsies.”
On 23 September a 19-year-old ethnic Bulgarian resident of Katunitsa died when a Roma man drove a minibus over him. Amid the tumult that ensued when the news reached the village, a 16-year-old boy with heart problems collapsed and died.
This triggered a protest against Katunitsa’s Roma baron, Kiril Rashkov, also known as Tsar Kiro, the patron of the minibus driver and, some claim, the instigator of the killing. Some buildings on his property were burned down by soccer fans from nearby Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city.
Rashkov himself – producer of bootleg alcohol, gold dealer, and self-proclaimed Roma boss – is a symbol of the Bulgarian transition. In the latter days of the communist regime he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for various crimes, but after the changes of 1989 he got a pardon. Rashkov accumulated power in the Romani community, put a crown on his head, and even founded a political party. He has constantly molested the people of Katunitsa, barely distinguishing between Bulgarians and Roma, threatening journalists and evading taxes. His grandsons are reputed to be especially cruel and arrogant.
But the authorities didn’t rein in Rashkov and his clan. On the contrary, there have long been rumors that parties look for Tsar Kiro’s help when it comes time to buy votes.
Now, Rashkov is in custody and the origins of his assets are under investigation. Yet the question remains: why now? Why not five, 15, 20 years ago? Journalists and pundits also ask about the other Tsar Kiros in Bulgaria – feudal barons, usually ethnic Bulgarian, who squeeze whole communities.
But most people aren’t asking that question, which came too late in any event. By the time we started wondering, anti-Roma protests had spread to many Bulgarian cities. They have injected nationalism into the campaigns for presidential and local elections to be held on 23 October. Some candidates tried to harness the protests, notably Volen Siderov, leader of Ataka, a nationalist party that is represented in the national and European parliaments. His effort to take a leadership role fizzled in the face of a rather decentralized movement.
Teenage boys, rockers, and football fans marched with T-shirts that proclaimed, “We do not want to live in a gypsy state.” On their side, Romani youngsters took up knives and axes and waited at the edge of the ghettos.
This did not make a good commercial for Bulgaria and its famous “successful ethnic model.” At a time when Arab youth march for democracy, Spanish youth for jobs, and American youth against Wall Street, Bulgarian youth protest the Roma. The cameras of foreign media skipped over the more measured messages, like “Equal rights and equal responsibilities,” to focus on the outrageous cries of skinheads and neo-Nazis.
Nationalist politicians call the unrest the awakening of civil society. If that were true, Bulgarian National Radio journalist Petar Volgin counters, the movement would also turn against Bulgarian barons and oligarchs, “who stole much more than Kiril Rashkov.”
The lack of justice in Bulgarian society aside, we should face one simple fact: Bulgaria, like all of Eastern Europe, does not have a proper solution to the Roma issue. There are many failures here, including one on the side of Roma community itself. It has failed to produce responsible leaders. Those with visibility are either barons like Tsar Kiro or activists who have little support in the ghetto and arouse suspicions of mismanagement and misusing foreign donations.
And while it’s true that crime is neither Roma nor Bulgarian, some types of crime are committed disproportionately by Roma. The problem is especially vicious outside the cities, and it tarnishes the country’s image abroad. Police and local authorities cannot handle it.
“There are two sides of this painful equation,” political scientist Ognyan Minchev says. “On one side, we really do see Roma bands in the villages robbing, killing, and raping elderly people. On the other, Roma who try to integrate face the contempt of many representatives of Bulgarian majority.”
Harsh words, but maybe it’s time to hear them. Terminology too often blurs this issue. Take the notion of a “racial” conflict. This is patent nonsense: Bulgarians and Roma are of one and the same race. “Ethnic” could be nearer the mark, but the low number of Roma in the February census (325,345 in a population of 7.4 million) indicates that many declare themselves Bulgarians (or Turks). “Religious” is ridiculous; many Roma, including Rashkov, are Orthodox or Protestant Christians.
The word “Roma” itself is problematic. Many Roma do not like it, preferring the old “Tsigani” or “Gypsies” (if not used in a derogatory way, the latter is generally not considered offensive). For most Bulgarians “Roma” symbolizes the bankruptcy of the modern approach to the issue. Changing a word, they say, does not change the problem.
Not that the communist approach was successful, either. Before 1989 the state had two compulsory tools to integrate Roma: labor (mainly in collective farms and low-skilled jobs) and military service in so-called “Labor Forces” (where young Roma were socialized by force but learned some construction skills).
The forcible aspects of these methods are obviously incompatible with democracy. But the democratic Bulgarian state has failed on another front, perhaps the most important: education. Primary education attendance is compulsory in Bulgaria, and the state should enforce it. That’s where the situation will either improve or break down forever.
Elections will come and go, but the problem will stay, no matter what we call it. It is not only Bulgaria’s problem, and it needs a pan-European solution, but French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s push to send Romanian and Bulgarian Roma home suggests that the cavalry will not ride in from the West. Nor is there good news about Roma integration coming from Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic.
At home, it’s high time to develop a cross-party plan and to act. Roma integration should top the agenda of the future president. He or she should listen to the omens carefully – and decipher the writing on the wall.
Hindus ask Europe not to make Roma a “scapegoat” for all their ills
03/10/2011 – Hindus have asked Europe to find another scapegoat in place of Roma (Gypsies) to blame for their ills and instead work on ending long time apartheid faced by them.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was time now for Europe to move on and select scapegoat other than Roma who had held that “title” for quite some time.
Referring to the recent anti-Roma movements in Bulgaria, Hungary and Czech Republic, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged immediate intervention of European Union to safeguard the Roma communities and their civil rights. All Europeans, Roma or non-Roma, should be treated fairly and should have equal access to all opportunities and privileges.
Rajan Zed argued that Hungary should focus on Roma upliftment programs instead blaming them for all the crime. Reported prejudices, intolerance, violence, racist overtones and hate speech against Roma in Bulgaria needed to end and instead the country should work on “inclusion” of Roma. Reported call for dismantling of Roma settlements by some groups in Bulgaria without providing them alternative accommodation was unfortunate and should be withdrawn. Politicians should not capitalize on ethnic tensions. Czech Republic needed better protection system for Roma, which reportedly saw recent marches and riots against them.
Zed commended reported call for peace and reinstatement of justice and solidarity of Bulgarian Orthodox Church and urged all religious groups and leaders in Europe to come to the rescue of Roma as religion told us to help the helpless.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc.
Bulgarian anti-Roma protests escalate
03/10/2011 – Bulgarian riot police were deployed on Sunday (2 October) to disperse protesters asking for the resignation of the interior minister after a week of unrest prompted by the killing of a 19-year old in a Roma village.
Hundreds of protesters rallied by the far-right Order, Law and Justice (RZS) party called for the parliament to be suspended and interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov fired for having failed to cope with the ethnic tensions that flared up after the Bulgarian youngster was run over by Roma ten days ago in Katunitsa, a village in southern Bulgaria.
An angry crowd of about 2,000 people then gathered and set on fire three houses owned by the Roma leader in the village. Protests against “government inactivity” followed throughout the week, with some 5,000 football fans and students gathering in the central square of Plovdiv, the biggest town near Katsunitsa on Sunday. A smaller, silent vigil against hate and racism was also held in Plovdiv a few streets away.
Similar parallel events were held in Sofia on Saturday, with some 2,000 people taking to streets as the country’s president convened the National Security Council in reaction to the violence and arson that followed the Katunitsa incident.
Ahead of the presidential elections on 23 October, far-right Ataka party leader Volen Siderov tried to capitalise on the tensions and called for the death penalty to be reinstated and for Roma “ghettos” to be dismantled.
In Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member state, Roma make up around five percent of the total population of 7.4 million. While most of the Roma live segregated and in poor conditions, some gang leaders do have connections with organised crime and trafficking rings. The gang lord allegedly connected to the killing has meanwhile been arrested, however, for having threatened to murder the people who set his property on fire.
VIDEO. Guitares et chants pour la première “Roma Pride” à Paris
par Le Nouvel Observateur
La manifestation se voulait festive pour dénoncer les discriminations dont sont victimes ces populations. Par Elena Brunet et Anne Collin.
“C’est une revendication citoyenne d’égalité de droits”, a expliqué le président de SOS Racisme, Dominique Sopo, au Nouvel Observateur. “Les Roms, les gens du voyage sont parmi les populations les plus les plus maltraitées, les plus discriminées, voire les plus persécutées, partout en Europe y compris en France”, a souligné Laurent El-Ghozi, président de la FNASAT (Fédération nationale des associations solidaires d’action avec les Tsiganes). Mais il ne s’agit pas seulement de lutter contre les violences faites à ces populations , assurent les associations, qui réclament également l’égalité des droits et l’application des droits déjà existante. Dans ce but, elles ont également publié une tribune afin de lister leurs revendications.
Cette première “Roma pride” a aussi donné lieu à des rassemblements dans plusieurs villes européennes. Comme à Lyon où 900 personnes, selon la police, ont manifesté “contre la traque des Roms” et l’expulsion de plus de 650 d’entre eux dans des camps de Lyon et son agglomération, depuis mi-septembre.
En Roumanie, pays qui compte une des plus importantes communautés roms d’Europe, environ 300 personnes ont marché dans le centre de Bucarest pour “la fierté d’être Rom”, quelques semaines avant un recensement organisé pour lequel les ONG de défense de cette minorité appellent davantage de Roms à déclarer leur ethnie.
Mais en Bulgarie en revanche, se sont près de 2.000 militants nationalistes qui ont manifesté à Sofia, réclamant des mesures d’urgence contre “la criminalité tzigane” sur fond de regain de tensions ethniques après de graves incidents dans un village du sud du pays, Katounitsa (un mort).
Les Roms, également désignés dans certains pays sous les termes de gitans, tsiganes, Sintis ou gens du voyage, sont entre 10 et 12 millions en Europe et constituent sa plus importante minorité.
Elena Brunet et Anne Collin – Le Nouvel Observateur
We want to inform you about the situation around the protests following the incidents in the village “Katunitsa”in Bulgaria.
In the neighborhood of Fakulteta, in recent days, there was fear and anxiety among Roma due to the clashes between Roma and non-Roma Bulgarians. On 9/27/11 and 9/28/2011 parents of children from the desegregation project in Fakulteta did not allow their children to attend school activities, and many workers in transportation firms also did not go to work with the knowledge and understanding from their superiors at work. Roma were grouped together peacefully to their homes, ready for any possible attacks. Entrances to the neighborhood were guarded, 24 hours, by the police and special forces.
In the neighborhoods around Fakulteta, the situation is now calm and children are now attending school.
We will continue to work with people in the neighborhood to avoid tensions between groups and sensational provocations by the media and political parties.
Executive Director ‘Romani Baht’ Foundation
Youth Organizing Committee
Искаме да ви информираме за ситуацията около протестите след инцидентите в село „Катуница“.
В квартал „Факултета „ през изминалите дни имаше страх и притеснения от страна на ромите за сблъсъци между роми и нероми, на 27 и 28.09.2011 родителите на децата от проект „Десегрегация“ не позволиха децата им да посетят училищните занимания , много от работещите във фирмите по сметоизвозване също не отидоха на работа със знанието и разбирането от страна на началниците си. Ромите се бяха групирали мирно пред къщите си да дежурят за евентуални нападения. Входовете на квартал факултета се охраняват 24 часа от органите на реда и жандармерията.
В близките квартали е спокойно и няма напрежение и от двете страни, към днешна дата децата посещават на 100% училищата.
Утре на 01.10.2011г. се очаква да бъде засилена охраната около ромските квартали в България заради протести в големите градове. В фейзбук се мобилизират националисти и групи, моля обърнете внимание на линка по долу.
Ние ще продължим да работим с хората в квартала за да се избегне изкуствено напрежение и провокации от медии и политически партии.
Изпълнителен директор Фондация „Романи Бахт“
Младежки организационен комитет.