Roma rally in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

15 August 2001

The Yugoslav Beta news agency reported that a group of around 200 Roma demonstrated in the streets of Novi Sad in the Vojvodina region of Serbia on March 21, 2001. The Roma from the Veliki rit settlement, the largest Romani settlement in the city, expressed dissatisfaction with their living conditions, carrying a placard with the words "We are hungry" at the head of a group that marched through the city. After the demonstrators walked through the streets of Novi Sad, they were received by Mr Miroljub Lješnjak, the vice president of the Vojvodina Assembly, to whom they expressed their concerns relating to poverty, a shortage of medical supplies and a lack of access to education for Romani children. Beta also reported on June 29, 2001, that Marija Milošević, the daughter of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević, had described present-day Serbia as a "concentration camp ruled by Gypsies, Jews, Tzintzars [a derogatory term for Aromanians] and Turks", in an interview with the June 28 issue of the Podgorica-based magazine Istok. The Yugoslav Ministry for National and Ethnic Communities reacted to Ms Milošević's remarks with the statement that a public prosecutor would be looking at the content of the article closely.



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