For immediate release
Hindus have expressed shock at reported dismantling of a Roma (Gypsy) settlement in Saint-Etienne in France on August six.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was really unfortunate that within the clear view of European Union (EU) and United Nations, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was allowed to make political capital by targeting helpless Roma, who were now reportedly forced into homelessness.
What was more baffling that even the religious elite of Europe had not come out openly against this unjust crackdown on poor Roma while the religions clearly told us to help the helpless, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued.
Rajan Zed urged the Council of Europe and European Parliament to urgently intervene and halt Sarkozy from demolishing the rest of 299 such settlements which his presidential order announced on July 28 would be dismantled in the next three months. It was simply inhuman to devastate the lives of voiceless Roma just to win support among a section of voters.
Zed questioned whether these ethnically and racially targeted evictions were fair and just according to EU laws which boasted of its human rights record. It smelled of xenophobia and racism. Instead of unleashing repression, France and Europe needed to work on social inclusion and rehabilitation of Roma communities.
Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly facing apartheid conditions in Europe. 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., Rajan Zed pointed out.