Attack on “Gypsy” woman in hospital in Macedonia

10 April 2001

According to victim testimony provided to the ERRC, ethnic Albanians attacked a woman belonging to the “Egyptian minority of Kosovo” in a hospital in Skopje, Macedonia, because they regarded her as a “Gypsy”. Ms Flurije Ademi, a twenty-year old woman from Lipjan, Kosovo, and her husband Uka Berisha are refugees in the refugee camp in Shuto Orizari, Skopje, Macedonia. On December 12, 2000, Ms Ademi, who was nine months pregnant, was taken to the maternity ward of a hospital in the Cair municipality of Skopje. After giving birth, she was reportedly taken to a ward with four other women, all ethnic Albanians. Ms Ademi told the ERRC that the ethnic Albanian women recognised that she was from Kosovo and, regarding her as Gypsy, began verbally to abuse her. They blamed Kosovar Gypsies for killing Kosovar Albanians. The four women also reportedly prevented Ms Ademi from drinking water and eating the food brought to her by the hospital staff. Ms Ademi also told the ERRC that the Albanian women attempted to kill her while she was sleeping on the evening of December 12, at which point she fled the room and spent the night in the corridor. At around 5:00 AM, Ms Ademi told a nurse about the incident and then, in terror, ran away from the hospital, taking her baby with her. According to testimony Ms Ademi provided to the ERRC, she walked the 5 km back to the refugee camp in Shuto Orizari. Ms Ademi is a member of the group calling itself the “Egyptian minority of Kosovo”, widely held to be “Gypsies” by most ethnic Albanians. For the most part, Roma tend not to regard them as Roma, and they themselves tend to reject links with Roma. Ethnic Albanians, who have subjected “Gypsies” to a wave of racially-motivated violence in Kosovo disregard such distinctions.

(ERRC)

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