MINELRES: Roma MEP Warns Of Human Rights Violations In Bulgaria

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed May 11 08:34:24 2005

Original sender: Roma Network <romale@zahav.net.il>


Sofia News Agency

April 18, 2005

Roma MEP Warns of Human Rights Violations in Bulgaria

A Roma MEP from Hungary has warned that the human rights record in
Bulgaria and Romania should not be overlooked even after the successful
European Parliament vote to back the two country's EU entry.

Viktoria Mohacsi, who voted in favour of the accession of Romania and
Bulgaria on Wednesday, said that too much attention has been focused on
corruption in the two candidates.

"Human rights are part of the fundamental values of the European Union.
It is safe to say that neither candidate is free of human rights
violations, with Roma in particular subject to abuse," said Mohacsi in
the latest issue of the Parliament Magazine.

"Let's go in with our eyes wide open. To improve the situation of the
Roma, Romania and Bulgaria should step forward by reinforcing the
protection of minority rights and combating racial discrimination, in
particularly within state institutions."

According to Mohacsi a generation of Roma children are being denied a
future by being racially segregated in mainstream schools and placed
into institutions normally reserved for the mentally disabled.

"The fall in Communism in 1989 [has] brought with it an increased fervor
in segregated schooling for Roma," argues Mohacsi. "A model not unlike
the Nazi-style special schools of the Third Reich."

Roma children are separated from an early age into 'special schools' in
many central and Eastern member states, says Mohacsi.

Racial discrimination is a fact of life across central and Eastern
Europe and needs to be urgently tackled, warns the Roma MEP.