ERRC Letter to the General Prosecutor of Romania Nicolae Cochinescu

25 November 1996

Dear Mr. Cochinescu,

On November 15, 1996, the Romanian delegation at the OSCE Review Conference in Vienna referred to your institution as the source when making statements about the administration of justice following incidents of community violence in Romania. (Romanian Delegation to the OSCE Evaluation Meeting, "Right to Reply to the European Roma Rights Center", WG 1, 15 November 1996.)

According to the statement in question (Délégation de la Roumanie a la Réunion OSCE d'évaluation, "Aspects concrets de la situation des Roma/Sinti en Roumanie", REF. RM/174/96, 12 November 1996, French only.), "12 cases have been pursued. 176 persons guilty of having exercised violence against Romani families have been brought to justice and 105 of them have been sentenced to up to 3,5 years."

Another document distributed by the Romanian delegation on the same day ("Legal and Factual Data on the Situation of the Roma (Gypsy) Minority in Romania" REF. RM/180/96, 12 November 1996), states the following: "... more than 100 persons were brought before the court and found responsible for various infringements of certain provisions of the Romanian law. Among them, 12 were sentenced to prison on the basis of the Romanian Penal Code."

The European Roma Rights Center would very much appreciate you providing us with further information on this issue. We welcome this progress in the administration of justice and kindly ask you to send us details about what cases the data circulated by the Romanian delegation refer to, and what the legal status of these cases is.

We would appreciate your prompt response to our letter.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Veronika Szente
European Roma Rights Center


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