Hate Speech against Roma in Romania

07 November 2002

On July 17, 2002, the Romanian daily Naţional reported that, as of July 16, 2002, Roma were banned from entering public places in groups larger than five in the city of Iaşi in the Moldavia region, in accordance with a decision by Mr Corneliu Rusu Banu, Prefect of Iaşi. As reported in Naţional, fifteen Romani activists from Iaşi will be forced to report to the police those Roma who do not respect public order. Accordingly, the police would then reportedly have the power to raid places where guilty Roma are thought to be. According to the electronic newsletter of the Bucharest-based Romani organisation Romani CRISS of September 3, 2002, Romani CRISS sent a letter of protest to Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastaše, the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of Public Information, requesting the careful documentation of Mr Banu's statements.

Mr Banu had also been in the media for racist statements against Roma. According to the Romanian daily Cotidianul of July 26, 2002, Mr Banu has stated that Roma are a public danger and they should be banned from public institutions. Mr Banu has also been quoted as stating that, "The presence of Gypsies in high schools, universities and hospitals is dangerous. We should persuade them not to go to hospitals because they create scenes and they shout." In response to criticism of the government following Mr Banu's statements, Mr Cosmin Guşă, Secretary General of the governing Social Democrat Party (PSD), reportedly declared that, according to his information, "I understood that he (Mr Banu) didn't speak about Gypsies or any other ethnic group. This was a misinterpretation of his words." On August 20, 2002, the Romanian national daily newspaper Adevărul reported that Mr Banu announced he would resign as the Prefect of Iaşi as of September 1, 2002. On August 22, 2002, the Romanian Ministry of Public Information issued a press release which stated that Mr Banu had been released from his duties as Prefect of Iaşi and was instead appointed to the Office of the Sub-Prefect of Iaşi County.

(Adevărul, Cotidianul, Naţional)


Challenge discrimination, promote equality


Receive our public announcements Receive our Roma Rights Journal


The latest Roma Rights news and content online

join us

Find out how you can join or support our activities