Anti-Romani action in Poland

11 July 2000

The Polish non-governmental organisation Never Again published in early 2000 a summary of monitored racially motivated crimes against Roma for the years 1997-1999, including the following cases:

Krosnica: On November 14, 1999, locals burned three Romani houses, rendering thirty Roma homeless. Three skinheads who took part in the incident reportedly told journalists shortly thereafter that they would burn other Romani houses. One stated, “We will kill them all. The only good Gypsy is a dead Gypsy.” Police reportedly have not charged anyone in connection with either the fires or the hate speech.

Limanowa: On November 9, 1999, delegates of the inhabitants of a block of flats presented demands to the municipality to evict Roma from their area. They reportedly stated that if town officials failed to react, they would take the law into their own hands.

Łomża: On October 30, 1999, a group of young men burned the car of a Romani boy while screaming racist slogans. The next day, his brother was beaten up by unknown assailants.

Nowy Targ: On December 25, 1998, a group of skinheads and Neo-Nazis attacked three Roma with iron bars, while insulting their ethnic origins. A subsequent trial failed to bring indictments since the Roma concerned did not identify their attackers. According to Never Again, the Roma were too intimidated to testify.

Chorzów: On December 15, 1998, skinheads stormed a Romani house and caused damage including breaking windows and burning a wheelchair. Inhabitants stated that they were afraid to testify because their attackers had threatened to kill them if they did so.

Bytom: On the night of September 8, 1999, a non-Romani man named Krzysztof W. reportedly attacked a Romani family, throwing a burning bottle of petrol into a room where two girls were sleeping. One of girls — mentally handicapped Pamela — fought for her life for two days; 20% of her body suffered second and third degree burns. Media reported the incident as a vendetta for an attack on Krzysztof W. by Roma.

Radom: On the night of May 20, 1998, approximately twenty Neo-Nazis attacked a Romani family with baseball bats, severely injuring them. The attack was reportedly motivated by the fact that the family had previously reported racially motivated crimes against them.

Sporycz: On April 14, 1998, a group of local Neo-Nazis attacked local Roma and burned a cottage belonging to one Romani family.

Kęty: Beginning in early March 1998, local skinheads and Neo-Nazis verbally attacked and threatened local Roma. They broke windows of Romani houses, physically attacked a number of Roma, and broke the leg of one Romani boy. Fearing further attacks, the local Roma barricaded themselves into one house on April 3. Police reportedly did not react adequately.

Brzeg: During the first two weeks of January 1998, groups of Neo-Nazis attacked flats owned by Roma. They broke windows, tried to burn one house and caused injuries.

(Never Again)


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