Monday, April 6, 2009
INTERNATIONAL ROMA DAY
Press Release and Invitation to the Media 4th April 2009
RESIDENTS OF OSTERODE AND CESMIN LUG CAMPS IN NORTH MITROVICA KOSOVO, WILL HOLD A CANDLIT VIGIL
PROTESTING AGAINST TEN YEARS OF UNMIK CHILD NEGLIGENCE. IT WILL TAKE PLACE AT 8PM AT OSTERODE CAMP ON INTERNATIONAL ROMA DAY 8 APRIL 2009
More than 200 Kosovo Roma/Ashkali families resettled in September 1999 on highly toxic wasteland by Dr. Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, when he was head of UNMIK, will hold a candlelit vigil at Osterode camp at 8 pm on 8 April 2009, International Roma Day, in memory of the 81 who have already died in these UN camps.
The demonstration/vigil will also be used by the camp Roma/Ashkali to remind the world that Dr. Kouchner promised they would only be housed on these dangerous toxic waste lands for a maximum of 45 days. If they could not be returned in that time to their original homes, they would be resettled abroad.
In November 2000, UN doctors in a report to Dr. Kouchner recommended that the camps be immediately evacuated because of life-threatening lead levels found in the camp children. Dr. Kouchner ignored the written recommendation.
In 2004 and 2008 World Health Organisation also called for the camps to be evacuated.
Today, ten years after post-war looters forced them from their homes while French troops stood by and refused to interfere, and with most of their children showing irreversible organ and brain damage because of some of the highest lead levels in medical history, the Roma/Ashkali want to draw public awareness to their plight.
"We demand to be evacuated and medically treated," declared their overall leader Skender Gushani. "Why has the UN and now the Kosovo government kept us on these killing fields? This is a living hell for us."
For more details about the Vigil and a 69-page dossier on this tragedy – Contact the press office:
Tel: 00381 645 283 278
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Morgan at 5:00 PM