Activities: April - July 1997

PUBLICATIONS

April 30: Published the Country Series report, The Misery of Law: The Rights of Roma in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine.

June 25: Published the Country Series report, No Record of the Case: Roma in Albania.

CAMPAIGNING FOR ROMA RIGHTS

May 23:
Sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Greece protesting the destruction of the Roma settlement at Ano Liosia and the forced relocation of some of them to a new area where freedom of movement is subject to restriction and an armed guard is present.

June 5: Sent a letter to the General Prosecutor of Moldova urging investigation of an alleged incident of police abuse of seven Romani men on January 5, 1997, in the town of Soroca, northern Moldova.

June 13: Sent a letter to the General Prosecutor of the Czech Republic requesting thorough independent investigation of an episode of community violence against Roma in Klatovy, western Bohemia.

July 3: Sent a letter to the General Prosecutor of Poland, calling attention to community attacks against Roma in the south-western town of Świebodzice and in the southern town of Dębica, requesting independent investigation.

July 10: Issued a public statement on the human rights situation of Roma in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on the occasion of those countries’ acceptance into NATO.

CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS

April 4-7: Attended a skills-exchange workshop on local governance in a multiethnic environment organised by Minority Rights Group and Liga Pro Europa, Sinaia, Romapia.

April 11-12: Attended the conference “Improvement of the Status of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe: A Challenge for Minority Law”, jointly organised by the Austrian Institute for Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Ljubljana Branch, and the Institute for Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana, and held in Murska Sobota, Slovenia.

April 17: Co-sponsored with the Constitutional and Legislative Policy Institute a meeting in Budapest with lawyers, sociologists and law professors concerning research to document and litigation to challenge racial discrimination in the criminal justice system in Hungary.

April 30-May 2: Held the second of a series of training seminars for Romani activists in Debrecen, Hungary.

May 11-12: Participated in a conference on Roma self-government organised by Project on Ethnic Relations, the Council of Europe, and the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities, Budapest, Hungary.

May 16-17: Attended a human rights training seminar for youth in Eastern and Central Europe, organised by the Anne Frank House, Budapest, Hungary.

May 20-23: Presented the situation of the Roma in Europe at the annual meeting for the Society for International Development, Santiago de Compostella, Spain.

May 25: Convened a meeting of lawyers from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to discuss litigation strategies in several cases involving human rights violations of Roma, Budapest, Hungary.

May 26-29: Participated in a meeting of the Working Group on Minorities of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland.

June 10-14: Representatives of the ERRC taught a course of public interest law to a group of lawyers from Georgia, sponsored by the Constitutional and Legislative Policy Institute, Budapest, Hungary.

June 17: Attended a conference organised by the Transcarpathian Regional Administration on Minorities in Transcarpathia, Uzhorod, Ukraine.

June 19-20: Held its third training seminar for Romani activists in Szolnok, Hungary.

June 19-24: Co-organised a human rights study session in Strasbourg, France, with the Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, for persons involved in legal assistance to Roma/Gypsies. The session featured lawyers and human rights activists from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

June 25-26: Participated in a conference organised by the Group for the Direct Protection of Human Rights on the position of Roma in Croatian society, Zagreb, Croatia.

June 26-28: Participated in the “Workshop on Positive Roma Images and Actions” in Budapest, Hungary, organised by Minority Rights Group.

June 28-July 9: Participated in the second Symposium on Public Interest Law in Eastern Europe and the Russia, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and COLPI and held in Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa.

July 8: Attended a memorial service for Katrin Reemstma, human rights activist and journalist, in Göttingen, Germany.

July 11: Participated in a conference on “Human Rights and the Media” organised by UNHCR and COLPI, in Budapest, Hungary.

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