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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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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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