MINELRES: ERRC Urges Russian Newspaper to End Hate Speech Practices

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue May 30 07:58:22 2006

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

Inciting Language Targeted as Public Expressions of Hatred Grow in

On 23 May 2006, the ERRC sent a letter of concern to Mr Alexey
Dmitrenko, Editor-in-Chief of the Russian daily newspaper Budni,
expressing concern at the prevalence of anti-Romani hate speech in the
newspaper and the repeated identification of Roma as drug dealers and
criminals. The ERRC urged Mr Dmitrenko to take a firm stand against hate
speech and to refrain from publishing inflammatory anti-Romani language.
The ERRC action comes against a backdrop of increasing hate crime in
Russia, including deadly attacks against minorities, migrants and

The full text of the ERRC letter follows:

Dear Mr Dmitrenko,

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), an international public interest 
law organization which monitors the human rights of Roma and provides
legal defence in cases of human rights abuse of Roma, is concerned about
the rise of anti-Romani hate speech in your newspaper and the continuous
identification of Roma as responsible for illegal drug dealing and

In particular, the ERRC is alarmed by articles published on 11 January
2006, 28 September 2005, 14 September 2005, 3 August 2005 and 6 July
2005. The 6 July 2005 article entitled "And now a Gypsy theatre will
show the performance: "Hi, I am from the social aid department!" hints
at the criminality of members of the Romani minority and repeatedly
refers to the ethnicity of Romani women accused of fraud. The 3 August
article entitled "The trade of Suhumi youth" includes a photograph of
two young women with a caption stating "These Gypsy women..." and
describes one case of pick pocketing in detail. The article repeatedly
emphasizes that "Gypsy women" have committed the pick pocketing and an
expert comment in the article concludes that this criminal business is
an action of "Gypsies from Suhumi". The 14 September article entitled
"Shot at policemen got 9 years" presents the arrest of a man suspected
of involvement in the drug trade and repeatedly refers to the man's
Romani ethnicity. The 28 September article entitled "Bloody trace of
Gypsy horse-stealers" repeatedly points on the Romani ethnicity of
criminals. The year 2006 has not yet seen any change in the practice of
indicating the Romani ethnicity while describing criminal events. For
example, the 11 January 2006 article "Slaves from the Gypsy villa"
suggests that Roma engage in the practice of slavery.

Dear Mr Dmitrenko, the above is, unfortunately, not a comprehensive list
of articles published in Budni in which the Romani ethnicity is
associated with criminality. The ERRC is concerned that articles
appearing in your newspaper incite racial hatred and foster hostile
attitudes toward Roma. We urge you and the journalists of your newspaper
to take a firm stand against hate speech and to refrain from publishing
inflammatory anti-Romani language in your publications.


Dimitrina Petrova,
Executive Director

Persons wishing to express similar concerns are urged to contact:

Mr Alexey Dmitrenko, Editor-in-Chief
"Budni" newspaper
Volzhskiy pr., 6, 443071, Samara, Russia
Tel/Fax: 279-76-47

Ms Svetlana Zhdanova, Director
Volga Regional Administration of Rosohrancultura
str. Kuybisheva, 145, 443010, Samara, Russia
Tel/Fax: 264-08-99, 264-20-39


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
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