MINELRES: ERRC Letters of Concern February 2005

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Mar 3 10:22:20 2005

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org> 

ERRC Letters of Concern February 2005 

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) Urges Authorities in Greece, Italy,
Spain, Russia and Sweden to Cease Violations of Roma Rights

A number of recent violent and abusive actions committed against Roma by
public authorities and others in Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and Sweden
have prompted the ERRC to call on authorities in these countries to
respect their international human rights obligations and to stop serious
human rights violations against Roma. During February, the ERRC sent
letters of concern in connection with the following:

Greece: The ERRC wrote to Prime Minister Mr Costas Karamanlis urging him
to halt actual and pending evictions of Roma from the municipality of
Aghia Paraskevi, Greater Athens. The ERRC was informed that the house of
at least one individual from this community had been demolished and two
other Romani families were served with orders for eviction. The
community had been promised relocation to the neighbouring municipality
of Spata as early as 2002, but due to resistance of the Spata
authorities and the failure to provide adequate housing there, the
Romani families continued to live in Aghia Paraskevi in extremely
substandard conditions. (The full text of the letter is available at:

Italy: The ERRC wrote to Minister of Interior Mr Giuseppe Pisano, urging
him to ensure that all action threatening the expulsion of Roma and/or
other persons regarded as Gypsies to Kosovo or other parts of Serbia and
Montenegro be ceased immediately. The letter was prompted by information
that a number of Roma from Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro living in
the Favorita camp in Palermo had been notified by the police that the
Italian government had ordered their expulsion and unless they
voluntarily left the country, they would be forcibly expelled. (The full
text of the letter is available at:

Spain: The ERRC wrote to Mayor of Valencia Ms Rita Barbera to express
concern about the forced eviction in January 2005 of ten Romani families
who were rendered homeless as a result of the action, and the threat of
forced eviction facing another 40 Romani families in the same town. (The
full text of the letter is available at:

Russia: The ERRC wrote to the Russian General Prosecutor and the
Prosecutor of the Novosibirsk Region in relation to violent arson
attacks on Romani houses in Iskitim, Novosibirsk Region, resulting in
the expulsion of around 400 Roma from the town. According to the
information received by the ERRC, law enforcement officials failed to
undertake any action to prevent the arson, although they had reportedly
been aware of the attacks on the Roma. Moreover, public officials are
alleged to have prevented fire engines and ambulances from reaching the
site where the Romani houses were burning. (The full text of the letter
is available at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2155)

Sweden: The ERRC wrote to Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy Ms
Barbro Holmberg urging her to cease immediately all action threatening
expulsion of Roma and/or other persons regarded as Gypsies to Kosovo.
The letter was sent after Swedish authorities began proceedings to expel
forcibly from Sweden a Romani family from Kosovo. As of the date of the
ERRC letter, the expulsion had been temporarily halted following a
suicide attempt by a member of the Romani family concerned. (The full
text of the letter is available at:


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax:   +36 1 4132201



The European Roma Rights Centre is dependent upon the generosity of 
individual donors for its continued existence. If you believe the ERRC 
performs a service valuable to the public, please join in enabling its 
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are preferred. Please send your contribution to:

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