Recent Romnews postings

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Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 14:32:14 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Recent Romnews postings

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Original sender: Roma National Congress <> 

Recent Romnews postings

Sinti and Roma warn of "discrimination"
Wiesbaden / GERMANY (RNN Correspondent) May the 19th 1998

The Central Committee of the German Sinti and Roma has warned of a
discrimination" of their language. It would be a scandal",  an
arbitrary act" and an international disgrace",  if Romanes would not
be included in the European Charta for Minority Languages" like the
languages Frisian, Sorbian, Danish and Low German, said the chairman,
Romani Rose, on Friday. He emphasizes that this is the more obscure,
as Romanes is the language of one of the ethnic groups that have been
affected worst by the holocaust. Due to the statements of Rose, the
language of the German Sinti and Roma is not being taken into account
in the ratification law. Germany had signed the European Charta for
Minority Languages" in 1992, and since then the Central Committee has
demanded the consideration of Romanes in the Charta.

The Problems of the Roma Minority in Czechia

Praha / CZECH REP. (RNN Agency) May the 21st 1998

Recently the annual report of the Helsinki-committee about the
compliance to the human rights in Czechia has been published and
considers the situation of the Roma as very bad. The minister without
portfolio, Vladimir Mlynar, who is responsible also for the problems
of the Roma minority, has approved this report. He said, that the
report is a good quality report that also reflects the violation of
the minority rights and the discrimination of the Roma in Czechia.

For example, the statement being true about the enormous unemployment
of the  Roma, that reaches 80% in parts of the country. Mlynar intends
to submit a programme to the government in a few weeks to moderate
this problem. It suggests to place about 5% of all national orders
with Roma firms. These firms shall get a special certification of the
department committee for Roma matters. Those firms that take on Roma,
shall have a good chance to obtain this certification.

Minister Mlynar does not agree with the statement of the report, that
the Czech republic infringes the international agreement about the
redressement of any discrimination. The report states, that Czech
ministries deal with these matters only very indifferently. Therefore,
a special committee of the national administration should be founded
to control the compliance to the agreement. Mlynar said in the Czech
TV: I think that this country like other countries does not fulfill
the agreement completely, because this country like other countries
ist not a perfect country."

Havel pardons attackers of Czech far-right leader

Prague / CZECH REP. (RNN Agency) May the 12th 1998

Czech President Vaclav Havel on Monday pardoned two Roma men who were
charged for attacking far-right Republican Party Chairman Miroslav
Sladek during a weekend party meeting, a presidential spokesman said.

Sladek and three of his party colleagues suffered light injuries when
attacked by several Roma at a party campaign meeting in the northern
Czech town of Novy Bor, police said.

Two men, Jan Tancos and Josef Tancos, were charged with assault in the
incident, but Havel's spokesman Ladislav Spacek said the president
used his amnesty power to set them free. Spacek did not give any
reason for Havel's decision, which can be enacted unilaterally by
presidential decree.

Local media quoted Roma at the scene of the attack as saying Sladek
had been
provocative, disparaging Roma as well as Prime Minister Josef
Tosovsky, Havel and his wife, Dagmar. Police fired warning shots to
break up the crowd, which the party said included about 100 Roma who
stormed the meeting.

The Republicans, who won eight percent support in a 1996 general
election and are expected to win seats again in June's poll, have
targeted the Roma community in their campaign.

Both Havel and the government have called on Czechs to improve
relations with Roma, a community numbering in the hundreds of
thousands, among whom unemployment is commonly 60 percent compared
with a national average ten percent.

Sladek, a doctor of philosophy who has been one of the most
controversial figures since the fall of Communism in 1989, was
acquitted on charges of spreading racial hatred in January after
spending 17 days in custody on remand. Sladek was widely reported to
have shouted that it was a "pity we killed only a few Germans during
the war" at a demonstration in January 1997 outside a hall where prime
ministers signed a bilateral declaration on Czech-German relations. A
district court ruled that Sladek's statements did not violate Czech
law when taken in the full context of his speech.

Havel narrowly won re-election by parliament in January for a final
five-year term in a vote which the Republicans refuse to accept
because Sladek, a declared candidate for president, was still in jail
awaiting trial.

Havel routinely excludes Republicans and Communists from invitations
to meetings with parliamentary parties.

Hamburg May the 21st 1998


Two Roma were the victims of brutal murder in Sofia and Orlov, one of
whom was only was only 15 years old.

The Roma National Congress has repeatedly complained to the East
European authorities about the groving wave of pogroms and
discrimination which have and are being targeted against Roma by
right-wing extremists and uncaring society which view the Roma as the
cause of all ist problem.

The Roma National Congress has critizied the Governments involved
about the lack of public protection for the Roma and the fact that
this protection is not a primary concern of the Governments Society
should not wonder or be surprised when the Roma organise themselves to
protect their families against the lack of public security and
uncaring Gouverments.

It is the basic duty of all democratic Governments to care about the
education, health and security of their citizens be they Roma or

For this reason, the Roma National Congress demands that the
Governments set-up independent international bodies to speed up civil
& human rights for the Roma.

- Rom & Cinti Union e.V. , Hamburg / Germany
- Roma - Union Frankfurt e.V. Opre Roma", Frankfurt a.M. / Germany
- Roma Union Grenzland, Aachen / Germany
- Info Roma Kontact, Rockycany / Czech Rep.
- Romano Centro, Vienna / Austria
- RNC Youth section, Hamburg / Germany
- Phoenix Project, 1st. European Roma Youth Network

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