MINELRES: ERRC Letter of Concern: Anti-Roma Racism Developments in Romania

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sun Aug 28 16:49:23 2005

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org> 

Prime Minister Urged to Act

26 August 2005, Budapest. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) today
sent a letter to Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu urging
him to take action against a recent outburst of racist speech in
Romanian media. The recent announcement by the European Court of Human
Rights of two judgments concerning the 1993 pogrom in the village of
Hadareni, and subsequent measures by the authorities taken against the
perpetrators of the pogrom, have been seized upon as an opportunity by a
number of politicians and journalists to launch verbal attacks against
Roma in Romania, significantly degrading the public space.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled twice in July in connection
with the 1993 pogrom in the village of Hadareni, Mures County, central
Romania, and its aftermath. The case involved the killing by a mob of
three Romani men and the subsequent destruction of fourteen Romani
houses in Hadareni, as well as the degrading circumstances in which the
victims were forced to live after the event. The Court issued two
decisions on the matter in July, the first affirming a friendly
settlement between the Romanian government and 18 surviving victims of
the pogrom, and the second finding Romania in violation of multiple
provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and awarding
damages to 7 victims who had declined amicable settlement.

Following the ruling, and in the wake of measures by authorities to
seize property belonging to the perpetrators of the pogrom in order to
award damages to victims, prominent public figures have spoken out to
provoke, reinforce and incite popular anti-Romani sentiment. Major media
outlets have provided such persons with space to air their views. The
ERRC letter calls the particular attention of Prime Minister Tariceanu
to one very extreme example of anti-Romani hate speech undertaken by the
prominent politician Mr. Corneliu Vadim Tudor, and currently still
available to the public on an Internet website.

In the letter sent today, the ERRC also urges Prime Minister Tariceanu
to ensure that the Romanian Government takes all necessary measures to
provide full redress to the victims of the pogrom, as well as to swiftly
prosecute those persons responsible for inciting and participating in
the pogrom who have not yet been brought to justice. The latter category
includes a number of police officers. The ERRC also urges that legal
action be brought against those authorities responsible for the
deficiencies of the criminal investigations in the 1993 events as found
in the judgments by the European Court of Human Rights.

Finally, the ERRC letter notes the detailed commitments undertaken by
the Romanian government as part of the friendly settlement decision to
alleviate the very extreme conditions of the Roma in Mures County, as
well as to dampen the very high levels of hatred against Roma there. The
letter urges Prime Minister Tariceanu to take an active role in
supervising the measures set out in the friendly settlement decision. 
Further information on the Hadareni case is available at: 

The July 5 decision by the European Court of Human Rights affirming the
friendly settlement between the Romanian government and 18 victims of
the pogrom is available at:

The July 12 decision by the European Court of Human Rights finding
Romania in violation of a number of provisions of the European
Convention on Human Rights in relation to the remaining claims is
available at: 

Persons wishing to express concerns on the matters above are urged to

Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu
Prime Minister of Romania
Piata Victoriei, nr. 1, sector 1
Fax: +(40)-21-318 11 45

Ms. Monica Macovei
Minister of Justice
Str. Apolodor, nr. 16, sector 5
Fax: +(40)-21-310 16 64

Ms. Beatrice Ramascanu
The Government Agent for the European Court of Human Rights
Aleea Alexandru nr. 31, Sector 1
Fax: +(40)-21-231 06 20

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law 
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax: +36 1 4132201


The European Roma Rights Centre is dependent upon the generosity of 
individual donors for its continued existence. If you believe the ERRC 
performs a service valuable to the public, please join in enabling its 
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European Roma Rights Centre
Budapest Bank Rt.
1054 Budapest
Bathory utca 1

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