Saturday, March 19, 2011



EU, US call for probe into violence against Roma in Albania

Thu, Mar 17 2011 10:21 CET

byThe Sofia Echo staff

 The ambassadors of the European Union and United States, along with the head of the OSCE office in Tirana, have called on Albanian authorities to investigate February 2011 incidents in which dozens of Roma families were forcibly evicted from their settlements in the centre of the capital city and were left homeless after their housing was set on fire.

The joint statement was issued on March 16 2011 by Eugen Wollfarth, the head of the OSCE office in Albania, Alexander Arvizu, US ambassador to Albania and ambassador Ettore Sequi, the head of the EU delegation to Albania.

"We note that these actions resulted in some serious injuries and the displacement of large numbers of people, including many children," the joint statement said.

The statement listed a number of conventions and plans to which Albania had committed itself, against discrimination and towards Roma integration.

"The European Commission, in its opinion on Albania's membership application, identified the fight against discrimination and the protection of the rights of Roma as key priority areas needing particular attention from the authorities."

"In this spirit, we strongly urge the responsible authorities to take the appropriate action by investigating the disturbing February events in order to ensure that such acts are not repeated. We also encourage the authorities to take the appropriate action to provide necessary social assistance, including housing, to those people who have now found themselves homeless."

"We are confident that the majority of citizens oppose such acts of violence against the minority group," the joint statement said.

"The OSCE, the US and the EU align themselves fully with civil society representatives in calling for an end to discrimination and violence against Roma families and children."

1 comment:

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