Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Roma refugee families rally in Vancouver

PHOTO    Image of Roma boy courtesy of Elaine Pura
Roma-Hungarian refugee families from Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam are gathering for a rally today outside of the federal immigration offices on Georgia Street in Vancouver.

"Roma people, Roma families have a big fear to go back to Hungary. Their life is in great danger there," said Florian Botos, a Burnaby resident who's helping organize the rally. Botos is expecting 50 or 60 people, mostly Roma refugee families from Hungary.

According to Botos, Roma people in Hungary face widespread discrimination and attacks from neo-Nazis, some of which have resulted in death.

The families are planning a peaceful protest, said Botos.

"We heard that the government claimed that Hungarian-Roma refugees are bogus refugees," Botos said. "It's not true. These people who are with me today, they own businesses, they come here (to Canada) ... as refugees. Those are hardworking people, they came here, not to be on welfare, they came here for protection."

This fall, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to come up with a list of countries that are considered safe and don't produce refugees.


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