Activities: August - October 1997

CAMPAIGNING FOR ROMA RIGHTS

August 6: Sent a letter to the Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, expressing concern about the human rights situation of Roma in the Czech Republic and urging that the Committee continue to monitor the situation.

August 15: Issued a press release condemning the encouragement by Czech municipal authorities of a mass exodus of Roma from the Czech Republic to Canada.

August 25: Sent a letter to the General Prosecutor of Poland, expressing concern over an incident of alleged police abuse against a fifteen-year-old Romani boy in the southern town of Wodzisław Śląski and urging a thorough investigation into the incident.

September 3: Sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Greece expressing concern about reports of forced expulsions there, in addition to alleged neglect by municipal authorities which has caused disease in certain areas.

September 4: Sent a letter to the Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, urging a full investigation into the murder of a Romani woman by four non-Roma teenagers in the southern Bulgarian town of Sliven.

September 12: Sent a letter to the President of the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence urging a thorough investigation into the case of Todor Bogdanović, an 8-year-old Romani boy shot dead by French police.

October 7: Fled a brief at the Czech Supreme Court concerning the failure of a district court in Hradec Králová to apply penal code provisions on racially-motivated crime.

October 22: Issued a press release concerning the human rights situation of Roma in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in reaction to increased migration of Roma from those countries to the UK.

CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS

August 26-30: Attended the "Third European Anti-Racist Meeting", in Cecina Mare, Italy, organised by ARCI Culture and Development. Participated in a workshop aiming at "exchange of information and experiences between Italian and foreign operators involved in work with Roma communities."

August 29-30: Attended and conducted training seminars at a Training of Romanian Law Students, organised by the Romanian Soros Foundation and held in Ilieni Braşov District, Romania.

September 23: Spoke at the opening of the CIVICUS assembly in Budapest, Hungary.

September 28 - October 3: Gave a series of lectures about Roma rights in Hanover College, USA.

October 13-15: Served as expert during the annual assembly of the international Catholic network Justica et Pax in Bled, Slovenia.

October 16: Testified as expert witness before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on the subject of human rights and state protection of Roma in the Czech Republic, Toronto, Canada.

October 16-18: Organised a workshop for lawyers on legal challenges to discrimination in Budapest, Hungary.

October 23-24: Attended and publicly intervened at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe hearing, "Provisions for Roma in Municipalities: Housing/sites, Health, Social Affairs", Pardubice, Czech Republic.

October 24-25: Participated in a conference on "Minorities in the Media: Realities and Prejudices", organised by the Human Rights Project, Sofia, Bulgaria.

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