Fortnightly Roma news review: September 15-30

By Bernard Rorke

September 15. In a week when the Guardian came over all indignant about Benedict Cumberbatch being cast as Mikey Walsh’s dad in the BBC Films new adaptation of Gypsy Boy, ERRC reported on how a Romani man was sold into slavery in Bulgaria.

Czech politician fined for ‘jellyfish’ racist remark. Credit:

September 15. From the Czech Republic finally came a sign that racism comes with consequences, Czech Social Democrat Karel Novotný got an official reprimand and lost three months salary for likening Romani people to jellyfish "poisonous and useless". 

September 15. The Irish Times reported that Traveller accommodation targets have not been met at any point since they were made mandatory on local authorities 18 years ago, with more than €55 million provided for Traveller housing remains unspent since 2000.

September 18. In a war crimes trial in Sarajevo, a protected witness testified that he saw Boro Milojica, who is on trial over the killings of Bosniak, Croat and Roma civilians, open fire at the Roma villagers in Volarici. For more on war crimes against Roma in the former Yugoslavia, check out this article in the recent issue of Roma Rights.

September 19. Roma LGBTQ people talk about the challenges of facing double discrimination in Romania: “it's not uncommon to see the statement ‘no gypsies please’ on profiles on Romanian LGBTQ dating sites, while, on the other hand, conservative Roma families believe homosexuality is wrong.”

September 21. Recently ERRC highlighted ‘Roma need not apply’ adverts for apartments in Budapest. have been tracking this kind of racism by landlords in the Czech Republic, and recorded one exchange with a letting agent “We have these instructions, and the owner does not want to lease any of those apartments to Roma.”

Anna Ciuciu running for the French senate. Credit: Alain Jocard/AFP

September 24. "I was a beggar, I was constantly humiliated," 27-year-old Anna Ciuciu on being the first ever Roma to run for the Senate in France. "My story shows that anything is possible.”

Odessa, 21st century anti-Roma pogrom. Photo: Mikhail Pochuev

September 25. Reuters reports that in the year since the Odessa 'Pogrom,' Ukraine's Roma face rise in mob justice with at least eight mass attacks on Roma communities in urban and rural areas of Ukraine. Check out  ERRC’s reporting on the Odessa pogrom last year:

French gendarmes questioned over fatal shooting of Traveller. Credit: Loic Venance/AFP

September 26. Liberation reports that two gendarmes are being investigated for the shooting dead of French Traveller Angelo Garand on 30 March. For background on the killing of Angelo and antigypsyism in France check out the ERRC blog

September 26. reports on shiny metal Holocaust memorial stones or "stolpersteins" ("stumbling stones") that have just been installed in Brno to serve as a reminder “that Romani people were systematically slaughtered just like Jews or other victims of Nazism," said Gunter Demnig, the author of the project.

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