MINELRES: INGOs on racist violence against Roma in Hungary and the Czech Republic

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Nov 24 11:24:41 2008

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

ENAR press release on racist violence against Roma in Hungary and the
Czech Republic

ENAR issued a press release on 19 November strongly condemning recent
violent attacks against the Roma in the Czech Republic and Hungary and
urging the Czech authorities to put an end to such attacks and take all
necessary measures to ensure the protection of their Roma community.
These events are extremely worrying, especially as ENAR's 2007 Shadow
Report on racism in Europe reports an increase in extremism and racist
violence in a number of EU member states, and the emergence of
extremist, semi-military organisations in the Czech Republic, Hungary
and Slovakia. 



ERIO <news@erionet.org>

ERIO’s statement on the racist riots in the Czech Republic

That’s another sign of the need of a European Roma policy

The racist attack occurred today in the Czech Republic is just the last
one of a series of anti-Gypsy episodes alarmingly spreading across the
European Union in the last months. After Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary,
Italy and Spain, now it is in Litvinov (a northern Czech town) where
extreme right groups openly attack Roma communities.

Today, more than 500 persons from the extreme right Workers Party tried
to assault a Roma neighbourhood but about 1000 policemen blocked their
way. This attempt happened during a march whose route was abruptly
diverted in order to attack the Roma neighbourhood with stones, batons
and petrol bombs. Seven police officers were injured by the clashes.

It is unacceptable that similar events occur in today’s European Union,
whose Member States are supposed to be homeland of human rights and
minority protection. That’s why we are calling once again on the
European institutions to set up an EU wide strategy for Roma protection
and inclusion in the main society. “Nowadays – stated Ivan Ivanov,
ERIO’s Executive Director – every country can decide on its own how to
deal with the Roma issue, following its own model. But those violent
attacks against Roma show once again that it is high time for the
European Union to deploy a strong European Roma policy, so every Member
State can provide the Roma community with the same guarantees of
protection and respect of their fundamental rights. We hope that the
Czech Republic, a country where a solution for the Roma issue is
urgently needed, will do its best during its EU presidency in the first
semester of 2009 to push for a Europe-wide strategy to counter racism
and discrimination against Roma”.

See video from the riots: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7734494.stm

Story from BBC News:

For further inquiries, please contact ERIO’s Executive Director: Ivan
Ivanov, +32/473/823887. 

Visit our website: www.erionet.org


The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy
organization, which promotes political and public discussion on Roma
issues by providing factual and in-dept information on a range of policy
issues to the European Union institutions, Roma civil organizations,
governmental authorities and intergovernmental bodies. ERIO cooperates
with a network of a large number of organizations and acts to combat
racial discrimination and social exclusion through awareness raising,
lobbying and policy

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