Tag: hate crime
The sheer shittiness of 2016 was captured in the end of year video by the comedian John Oliver. As Gary Younge wrote recently, this was a year in which “vulgarity, divisiveness and exclusion won – a triumph for dystopian visions of race, nation and ethnicity … Immigrants and minorities are fearful, bigots are emboldened, discourse is coarsened.”
In a Milan neighbourhood on the night of Friday 4th of November, Paolo Cagna Ninchi was physically attacked and verbally abused by an unknown assailant on his way home. The motive behind the attack was “because his wife is the Gypsy that goes on TV” (è la zingara che va in televisione). Paolo will need an operation for the injury to his eardrum, but otherwise is physically recovering from the assault.
The UN Human Rights Committee has once again called on Slovakia to acknowledge its responsibility for past practices of forced sterilisation of Romani women; to eradicate widespread de facto practices of school segregation; to ensure that evictions from public land “are a means of last resort”; and hold local authorities to account for segregationist policies and behaviour.
While the attention of the world media remains focused on the absurd and oppressive “Burkini ban” in France, a recent spike in hate crimes against Roma has gone virtually unnoticed. In three attacks within the last few weeks Roma have been firebombed, threatened and beaten at knifepoint in a toxic political climate where racism and xenophobia have become more pronounced. The response of law enforcement has been at best lax. The European Roma Rights Centre has been monitoring the situation of Roma in France for some years, and 2016 is looking decidedly grim.
All over Europe Roma face aggressive hate speech, and all too often Roma are subjected to racist violence. This holds true not only across Central and Eastern Europe but also in Western European countries such as Italy where the situation remains troubling. In the past three years, Italy has witnessed cases of violence by law enforcement officers against Roma, attacks on Roma camps and dwellings, and assaults against Roma individuals.