MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 15(143)/2005

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Thu Apr 28 14:26:45 2005


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Divers Bulletin no. 15 (143) / April 25, 2005
News

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE COMMEMORATED IN ROMANIA

ANTI-ROMA RACISM FILLS ROMANIAN STADIUMS…

…WHILE CNCD FINES STEAUA FOOTBALL TEM FOR RACISM

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR THE ETHNIC ROMA ON CLUJ GARBAGE PIT

ROMANIAN JOURNALISTS IN COVASNA PROTEST AGAINST ALLEGEDLY DISCRIMINATION

CERTIFICATES FOR ETHNIC UKRAINIANS 

MACEDO-RUMANIANS COMMUNITY REQUESTS THE REGISTRATION AS NATIONAL
MINORITY


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News

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE COMMEMORATED IN ROMANIA

BUCHAREST – On April 24, Armenians in Romania celebrated 90 years since
the first genocide of the 20th century, when several hundred thousand
Armenians were killed or forced to leave their homes. “The road was full
of children, starving children, they could not go on, children thrown
away on the fields … This is a very sad story. We will forget about this
once we die and another generation comes along. But the people who
actually lived these moments cannot forget. It is impossible“,
remembered Agop Cividian, an ethnic Armenian in Romania who lived the
drama of the genocide against his people. His memories are included in
the volume “Faces of the city. Life-history in Bucharest“ (author Zoltan
Rostas) and is one of the few true testimonies published in Romanian on
the tragedy 90 years ago.
The history of the Armenian genocide is not enough known, not in lack of
enough proofs but because the subject is considered touchy, especially
politically speaking.
The genocide against the Armenians was for the first time acknowledged
by Uruguay in 1965, being followed by other 13 countries, by World
Church Council, by the International People’s Courthouse, by UN
Sub-commission for human rights and by the European Parliament in 1987.
As a symbolic gesture, Holland acknowledged the genocide in December
2004, while being at the presidency of the European Union.
Government of Turkey has repeatedly denied the genocide in the past ten
years and spent important amounts of money to prove this actually had
not taken place. Turkey’s current efforts to be accepted to accede to
the European Union are somehow affected by the refusal to acknowledge
the genocide against the Armenians.
Senator Varujan Vosganian, one of the representatives of the Armenians’
Union in Romania held a speech during Senate meeting on April 18, 2005,
urging Romania to acknowledge the Armenians genocide: “Within this
humanist perspective and of democratization of the international law,
taking the example of other countries in the membership countries of the
European Union, the Parliament of Romania might start-up the procedures
to officially acknowledge the genocide in 1915”. “May this day be for
all an occasion to understand these facts cannot repeat, that nobody,
nowhere should suffer from having born a certain nationality”, concludes
Vosganian. 
Author: DIVERS


ANTI-ROMA RACISM FILLS ROMANIAN STADIUMS…

BUCHAREST - On 13th of April 2005, Bucharest’s mains stadium was packed.
Steaua Bucharest was playing against Rapid Bucharest and the game had
one of the highest attendance records in recent Romanian games. Only
this time, spectators had to witness discrimination and incitement to
hatred, not football at it’s finest, RSK reports.
Throughout the game Steaua’s supporters chanted anti-Gypsy slogans and
heaped uncalled for, racist verbal abuses against the host team, Rapid
Bucharest. Even the loudspeaker was used for the purpose of further
propagating the explicit use of hate speech throughout the Stadium. One
of Romania’s most racist songs called “Gypsies and UFOs” was broadcasted
through the Stadium speakers during the intermission.
After the game, Steaua Bucharest’s home game presenter, Gabi Safta,
verbally abused the coach of Rapid, Razvan Lucescu, by calling him a
“stinky Gypsy.” Even before the game had begun, Gigi Becali, owner of
Steaua Bucuresti, had declared publicly that he would beat up the
ex-owner of Rapid Bucuresti (the team is largely supported by the Roma
community in Bucharest) and one of the Romanian ministers, if he would
dare to come to the game. One of the richest men in Romania, Gigi
Becali, openly supports the extreme right wing organization “Noua
Dreapta”. The organization has the same doctrine as the “Iron Guard”, an
extreme Nazi movement in Romania during the Second World War responsible
for murders including a pogrom that saw 200 Jews grotesquely murdered
using a slaughterhouse conveyor belt in a factory near Bucharest. After
the disturbing murders, the members of the „Iron Guard” stamped a
five-year old girl’s corpse as fit for consumption. According to the
Iron Guard website, the Roma are considered to be “a subhuman group
which steal our bread, replace our traditions, mugs our brothers and
kill our parents.”
The head of the Romanian Football League Dumitru Dragomir, a member of
the Romanian Parliament, is likewise from the extremist party Romania
Mare. The leader of Romania Mare, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, said that if he
wins the next election he would "...isolate the Roma criminals in
special colonies.." in order to ".. Stop the transformation of Romania
into a Gypsy camp.. ". Dumitru Dragomir was also under investigation for
being the owner of an anti-Semitic publication.
At the end of the game on 13th of April the Romanian Football
Federation’s observer Valentin Alexandru said, ”The game was played in
“normal” conditions and there is nothing he need report even though
throughout the game, the gallery was chanting “We have always hated
gypsies, we have always urinated on you”. “Anti-Gypsyism in Romania and
for that matter all around Europe is the acceptable European racism and
accordingly largely ignored. Racist incidents against Roma on the
Stadiums are usual and receive no attention as for example in the case
of Dinamo Bucuresti supporters who displayed a huge banner of Antonescu
during a game viewed by the Romanian Ministry of Interior” says Valeriu
Nicolae, interim director of European Roma Information office (ERIO).
ERIO believes that probably the Romanian Football Federation would have
“nothing to report” even if presented face to face with cases such as
the 500 years of forced slavery of Roma in Romania, the Genocide of Roma
during the Second World War, the pogroms of Roma at the beginnings of
1990s, among other things.
Author: DIVERS


…WHILE CNCD FINES STEAUA FOOTBALL TEM FOR RACISM

BUCHAREST - The National Council for Fighting Discrimination (CNCD)
yesterday decided to fine the Steaua Bucharest football club 1,100 euros
for the racist behavior of its supporters at the game the team played
against local rival Rapid.
The decision comes after several civic groups protested against the
racist behavior occurring at Romanian football stadiums, referring
specifically to the game that took place at Bucharest's Gheancea stadium
on April 13.
Around 15 civic groups, including several organizations dealing with the
rights of the Roma community in Romania, including the Roma Center for
Social Intervention and Studies - Romani CRISS, the Resource Center for
Roma Communities, the Association for Protecting Freedom of Speech and
the Communitarian Development Agency "Impreuna," signed a press release
stating that "both before and during the match against Rapid, the Steaua
club's board urged fans to commit acts of violence and intolerance." The
release also refers to the stadium announcer at the game, Gabi Safta,
"who broadcast racist messages, with explicit reference to the ethnic
origins of the opposing team and its supporters."
The organizations also announced that they will notify not only the
Romanian institutions dealing with this issue but also international
ones with a request such acts will be penalized.
The Agency for Communitarian Development notified the CNCD with respect
to the phrase used by Safta in a dialogue with Rapid's coach, Razvan
Lucescu - "damned gypsy."
The CNCD, a government institution that specializes in preventing
discriminatory abuses and punishing all forms of discrimination, fined
Steaua 40 million lei (1,100 euros) and recommended that the club take
the necessary measures "for stopping events with a racist character
within the competitions it organizes." The CNCD also fined Safta 550
euros for urging discrimination and for the way he spoke to Lucescu.
Following the match on April 13, the Rapid officials submitted a protest
to the Romanian Football League asking that penalties be applied in this
case.
Author: DIVERS


EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR THE ETHNIC ROMA ON CLUJ GARBAGE PIT

CLUJ-NAPOCA – County Council (CJ) Cluj, in partnership with Public
Health Department (DSP) Cluj, Foundation Family Aid and the
Communitarian Group of Ethnic Roma Initiative within the Ethnic Roma
Community Pata Rat initiated an action to distribute the ethnic Roma
community within the colony near the garbage pit of Cluj-Napoca county
seat, 700 pieces of soap and 300 packages of personal hygiene tampons.
The ethnic Roma in the colony also received educational leaflets. Last
week action is enclosed within Phare project called “I want to be
Healthy”, financed by the European Union within program Phare Ro
2002/000-586.01.02 “Support for the national strategy to improve ethnic
Roma condition” in health domain.
The total value of the project developed by CJ Cluj is of EUR46,772 of
which, the non-payable financing enabled by the EU for the
implementation is of EUR44,172 and the co-financing from the county
budget is of EUR2,600.
Within this project it will be improved the access to the members of the
community in Pata Rat to the services of medical assistance. To reach
this goal, it is taken into account the training and employment of two
sanitary mediators among ethnic Roma community, their registration to
the family medic, the initiation of health promotion campaigns, the
evaluation of health status of the inhabitants in the garbage pit as
well as the rehabilitation and equipment of a sanitary unit.
Public Health Department (DSP) Cluj and Cluj County Council will
distribute condoms in the community and will establish a mobile lab for
tuberculosis tracing tests.
As well as in the past years, CJ Cluj next to foundations and other
communitarian institutions developed campaigns to vaccinate the ethnic
Roma children in Pata Rat, created all the conditions they are brought
to school, developed actions to draw up the identity papers for the
ethnic Roma. Over one hundred ethnic Roma are living in Pata Rat.
Author: DIVERS


ROMANIAN JOURNALISTS IN COVASNA PROTEST AGAINST ALLEGEDLY DISCRIMINATION

COVASNA - Romanian journalists from Covasna published a letter of
protest disapproving with Janos Demeter, president of the Covasna County
Council, who had organized the day before an exclusive press conference
for the Hungarian-speaking media.
In the protest, representatives of the local Romanian-speaking press,
several newspaper reporters, radio anchormen and journalists from the
national press agencies objected to "the lack of impartiality" that
Demeter displayed. They also stressed that the right to the citizens'
information is upheld by the constitution, regardless of their
ethnicity. The journalists believed that the press conference topic –
the restructuring of the development areas and the delimitation of the
"Szeklers' Region"- represented a point of interest for all Romanian
citizens.
Covasna country, together with Harghita county forms the so-called
Szeklers’ Region in central Romania where the majority of the population
is of Hungarian origin.
Author: DIVERS


CERTIFICATES FOR ETHNIC UKRAINIANS 

SUCEAVA - Citizens of Ukrainian origins living in Romania can get a
"Ukrainian living abroad certificate" if they can prove they belong to
this community, according to the Ukrainian consulate in Suceava. Those
who obtain the certificate can get free visas for Ukraine, the consulate
said. 
The certificates are valid 10 years. The requests for a certificate can
be filed at the Suceava Consulate. Copies of the documents proving
Ukrainian origin or recommendation letters from ethnic Ukrainians are
necessary. Claimants must pay 20 dollars for the certificate.
Author: DIVERS


MACEDO-RUMANIANS COMMUNITY REQUESTS THE REGISTRATION AS NATIONAL
MINORITY

BUCHAREST – Over 500 representatives of the Macedo-Rumanian community in
Romania voted on April 16, on the occasion of their annual meeting, in
favour of the document by means of which they ask the registration of
this community as national minority.
The document asks the Government of Romania to draw up normative acts
ensuring the necessary logistic financial support to establish an
educational body specialized on Macedo-Rumanian language, culture and
history. 
Author: DIVERS


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