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ERRC Urges French Authorities to Fully Investigate Lynching of Romani Minor

18 June 2014

Budapest, Paris, 18 June 2014: The European Roma Rights Centre expresses its deep concern regarding the brutal lynching of a 16-year-old Romani boy in France. The ERRC urges French authorities to investigate the attack, in particular any possible racial motivation, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The boy is in critical condition after being beaten up by a vigilante mob on Friday, 13 June in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, north of Paris. According to the victim’s family and his lawyer, a group of perpetrators went into a Roma camp in the northern suburb and took away the Romani teenager, locked him in a basement and violently attacked him. The boy was later found unconscious, dumped in a supermarket trolley. The victim, is currently in a coma, his life in danger.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack as “unspeakable and unjustifiable” and wants “everything to be done” to find the perpetrators.”

The ERRC welcomes President Hollande’s remark and hopes that this statement will speed up the investigation process. We expect racial motivation to be taken into account during the investigation and prosecution of those responsible.

Since 2010, the ERRC documented 14 racist attacks against Roma and their property in the country. The ERRC is in particular concerned about the racist public discourse on Roma in France which contributed to creating an environment in which attacks such as this one can take place. Irresponsible politicians contributed to this racist public discourse by making use of hate speech and negative stereotypes.  

The ERRC calls on the French authorities to investigate this lynching and to combat rigorously anti-Roma hate speech and discrimination. In particular, the French authorities should have a zero-tolerance policy for anti-Roma hate speech by government officials in order to create an environment that supports the full integration of Roma into French society.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
Tel. +36.30.500.1324
sinan.gokcen@errc.org

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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.

 

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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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