ADC “Memorial” continues to monitor the difficult situation with the resettlement of residents, living in a Roma settlement in Tyumen, provides all the possible support to the Roma people as well as to the representatives of the construction firm, voluntarily organising the resettlement. Numerous times, we have written letters to the city’s administration, governor and other official persons in the region, drawing attention to the hardships that occurred as a result of the resettlement.
Regardless of the active and responsible position of the construction firm’s administration and the common interest of a quick resettlement, in practice, however, various hardships and obstacles occur. For instance, after the conclusion of a lengthy and difficult process of agreeing on the area of resettlement, it became known that demonstrations occurred in a nearby village, led by its residents, who protested against the future neighbourship with the Roma. The locals did not limit themselves by proclaiming their nationalistic anti-Roma views, but also broke down the fence around the established resettlement area and stole construction materials that were allocated for the construction of future Roma homes. The local police are already investigating the criminal cases dealing with these occurrences, but meanwhile, the residents of the Roma settlement complained about their neighbours’ nationalism to the governor of Tyumen region…
To the governor of Tyumen region
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,
We, the residents of a Roma settlement, living in the 3rd unit of Zarechny district, the locality situated on the Uraiskaya and Mysovskaya streets, are appealing to you for help. Knowing you as our governor, who always guards the interests of and provides help to the residents of the Tyumen region, we ask you to help us, so we don’t have to deal with our problem alone.
The core of the problem:
We were born as Roma, were raised and grew up in Roma families, many of our fathers and grandfathers, in 1941, had defended our homeland during the difficult times for our country, many of them did not come back from the battlefield, many returned with military orders and medals. Not many from our settlement remember this, but those who do – proudly tell their children about it.
In our community reside 278 people, 55 families. Many of our residents have worked at the city’s enterprises, have work experience and are pensioners. We understand that today, the attitude towards persons of Roma ethnicity is controversial and frequently negative. We agree that every nation has problems, which must be eliminated – even among Russians, there are problems such as alcoholism, violations of law and other vices. We are not nationalists, on the contrary: we wish to live beside the Russian people, so that our kids could attend Russian schools, since only there, they could gain knowledge. We have already written to you that we are very strongly against the distribution and use of drugs and do not allow such events to occur in our community.
We are informing you that twice, the administration of the Tyumen region have allocated areas of resettlement for us, the last area being not far from the place where our relatives live, and uniting us is the right decision.
However, a series of nationalistic demonstrations against us and our residency have taken place, led by the residents of the village Melioratorov: we have been insulted and humiliated as a race, were demanded to be evacuated in the fields, and even destroyed. They barbarically destroyed the fence, established for building the settlement area, and stole the construction materials. Explain to us, why are we and our families being treated this way? We all have a legal right to live. Do we have to assimilate to such people that create enmity between people? We want to peacefully raise our children and be helpful to the community, but today, our community is pushing us into an obscure stream, exasperating our relations with the residents, and this is neither by God’s nor people’s laws.
Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, we have been told that they are planning to move us to Lesobaza district. Look at what type of place it is: this place is not for living, but only for the purpose to bury us there. Not a single person, who respects oneself, will live there.
Help us, do not leave us in trouble and please, give us a normal place to live in. We want to assure you that we will not let you down and will be worthy residents of Tyumen region. We hope that you understand us, may God grant you health.
278 residents of the Roma settlement
Chief of the Roma settlement, B.K. Mihai
August 25th, 2011
ADC “Memorial,” for its part, sent a letter to the administration of Tyumen, asking it to monitor the situation, accelerate the allocation of a new settlement area (we hope, the final one) and not allow nationalistic attitudes of a local population to be used for wrecking the long ago planned, legal resettlement.