Monday, April 30, 2012


Experts: Violence against Roma is deeply rooted across Europe



Brno, April 29 (CTK) -
Violence and discrimination against Romanies are deeply rooted in Europe, representatives of the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) said at a press conference staged by the Czech Helsinki Committee (CVH) and the AEDH yesterday.
They said there are no big differences between particular countries and that tension is now mounting also due to the economic crisis during which people's tolerance is decreasing.

The press conference was given at the close of a general meeting of the association that has 23 member organisations from 19 EU countries.

The event was combined with a seminar on Romanies in Europe.

Anna Sabatova, from the CVH, said people have many prejudices against Romanies.

"The Romanies want to work, coexist with others, but this is not made possible for them," she said.
Sabatova said she was "shocked by the situation in Italian suburbs. Some violent acts in Hungary, for instance, are even stronger than what we experienced in the past," Sabatova said.

She also criticised the situation in France that expelled Romanian and Bulgarian Romanies in the past.

"No country is free of violence," French AEDH representative Pierre Barge said.
Sabatova said some west European countries behave towards Romanies as if they were not European citizens.

The Brno meeting also dealt with the current situation in Belgrade from where some 250 Romany families have been expelled, allegedly without notice and negotiations, Sabatova said.
The people did not allegedly get a comparable shelter, she added.

The CVH says aversion of the majority population to Romanies is mounting. Polls and surveys have recorded an increase from 60 to 75 percent over a period of ten years, the CHV said.

The AEDH says the Romanies constitute the strongest European ethnic majority of 12 million people.

The experts discussed in Brno three themes - violence against Romanies, discrimination against Romanies and the minority's access to its rights.

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