ANTI-ROMA VIOLENCE IN ITALY:
ARE WE BACK TO 1930?
May the 19th 2008 / Strasbourg
Today, in a letter addressed to the European Union and the European Parliament the European Roma and Travellers Forum expressed concern over the violent attack on the informal settlements in Italy in which hundreds of Roma have been forced to run off for fear of their life.
"The recent event in Italy remind us of the Nazi and Fascist periods in the early 1930s, when Roma/Sinty and Jews were singled out for discrimination and persecution leading finally to the genocide of millions of innocent people" said Mr. Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum calls upon the European Union and the European Parliament to take immediate and concrete actions for the protection and equal treatment of all EU citizen.
Italian politicians and the media are blaming immigrants of Roma origin for the increase of criminality act in the country. Mr. Kawczynski maintains that "Criminal elements can be found in every sector of the population irrespective of ethnicity and social class. This does not mean that the whole sector - in this case the Roma - are criminals. Singling out the Roma community as main reason for the increase of criminality in Italy can only contribute toward increasing the tension and higher number of violent attacks".
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The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe's largest and most inclusive Roma organisation. It brings together Europe's main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma organisations from most of the Council of Europe member states.
For further information please contact:
European Roma and Travellers Forum
c/o Council of Europe
F - 67 075 Strasbourg
Tel.: 00 33 3 90 21 53 50
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Violence against Roma in Rome/Italy
May the 16th 2008 / Strasbourg