Participants of the Roma Youth Conference in Strasbourg are using the opportunity to share with a Declaration about the unbearable increase of violence and hatred particularly in Bulgaria, Czech Republic as well as other European countries. Moreover on 28th September 2011 the participants of conference organized a solidarity event in front of the European Parliament and Council of Europe with the Roma in those countries. *“We strongly believe that you would not remain silent about the current situation and will make Europe an equal place for Roma,”* said Gabriela Hrabanova, policy coordinator, ERGO Network.
The statement continues: Right now, all over Bulgaria, including major cities, extremist groups led by the far-right political parties VMRO and ATAKA and joined by football hooligans are running pogroms in Roma neighborhoods creating a climate of fear and insecurity.
Since September more than eight anti-Roma marches were organized in the north of Czech Republic. The increase of violence and clashes between Roma and non-Roma are becoming a daily terror for local people. Slogans such as “gypsies to the gas chambers”remind us of Nazi persecution of Jews and Roma.
In Hungary a series of murders happened over the last two years, Roma houses were burned and the mobilization of the paramilitary organizations was simply tolerated by local authorities.
In other countries, especially in the Western Europe such as in Italy, France and Germany we are witnessing the violation of Roma migrants’ rights.
We appeal to the Council of Europe, to the member states of the European Union, to the European Parliament, European Commission and the European Council to address urgently the situation particularly in Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic and we urge all international stakeholders to take a clear stand against the rise of anti-gypsyism and violence across Europe.
We urge your prompt reaction to these events, which are unlawful and threaten the standards we have set ourselves in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe. Far-right political parties need to be condemned and sidelined; propagation and incitement of hatred, discrimination, violence and ethnic cleansing must be stopped. We urge you to provide protection from violence to all citizens by closely monitoring acts of violence, to promptly investigate and punish any illegal activities, with careful consideration of racial motivation.
*”We as young Roma and non-Roma stand together for mutual respect for ALL in ONE Society,”* says Gabriela Hrabanova.