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Roma community center vandalised in Łódź, Poland

10 September 1998

According to articles appearing in the Polish and international press, as well as information provided by the organisation itself, the offices of the Roma Information and Counseling Center in the Polish city of Łódź were broken into and vandalised on July 3, 1998. Along with racist graffiti and swastikas sprayed on the office walls, the perpetrators left behind their signature as NOP - Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski, a right-wing extremist organisation in Poland. The same group reportedly vandalised the Łódź premises of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious group during the same night.

According to Romnews Network, after the Center staff reported the incident to the police, the police public relations officer Ms Jadwiga Kosiak replied that there was no reason to press charges against the NOP. Mr Andrzej Wiśniewski, chairman of the Roma Information and Counseling Center, told the ERRC that police attempted to downplay the incident by telling him that the perpetrators were "only some young people". They nevertheless stated that their officers would guard the building. Wiśniewski told Romnews that, "Right-wingers attack Roma and the law shows no interest in following up such racially motivated crimes. One is increasingly led to believe that the legal system, police and extremist nationalists are somehow working together for a 'Gypsy-free Poland'". Romnews also reports that during 1996, three Roma were murdered in the Łódź area, and the culprits have not been identified yet.

(ERRC, Romnews Network, Roma Information and Counseling Center, Ekspres Ilustrowany, Dziennik Łódzki)

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Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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