Human rights activists accuse authorities in anti-Gypsyism

On the April 5th, 2012, a press conference devoted to the issue of discrimination of Roma people will take place in Moscow. Representatives of authorities distract attention of the publicity from real problems by false accusations and persecutions of Roma people. A great range of examples – from scandals related to Olympic building in Sochi to kidnapping of a baby in Bryansk – can be provided.

International Roma day, celebrated around the world on April 8, is a good reason to remember the rights of these still discrimiated people. The Roma people are the biggest minority in modern Europe. Special governmental programmes are developed in many countries in order to overcome marginal state of this people. Unfortunately, representatives of authorities in the Russian Federation remember of Roma, when they need to find “the guilty ones” and to create the image of investigations, by holding populiust political campaigns.

A recent example is the events happened in Bryansk when after a baby was kidnapped the whole Roma population of the city was suspected. A campaign against Roma people was held by law enforcement agencies. The police officers surrounded the Roma settlements, entered the houses and took photos of all people who were older than 14 years. A large number of “volunteers” supported the persecution of Roma people. The Roma had to experience all these humiliations without any obvious reasons to be suspected (as it later turned out the baby was probably killed by the father). Doesn’t it look like the Beilis case one hundred years ago when the authorities accused a Jewish guy in “ritual murder” of a baby (who was actually also killed by his stepfather) and provoked a wave of pogroms and anti-Semitism? The real hope of the authorities was to distract publicity on persucting unsecured people.

In all regions of Russia Roma regularly become victims of police violence, but these crimes are not investigated. For example, a case against police officers who hit and insulted Roma women at the police station in Ryazan was dismissed.

The situation only worsens as representatives of authorities regularly make public xhenophobic statements towards Roma, widely broadcast by the Media. For instance, the mayor of the city of Sochi, Pakhomov, according to the Media information, demanded strict activities against Roma population of the city. ADC Memorial supported a Roma activist who is ready to file a complaint to the UN Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination.

The participants of the press conference: lawyers, human rights activists and the complainer-Roma activist, will talk about the legal activities against violations of the Roma rights.

The press conference will take place on April 5th at 12 a.m. in the Independent Press Center in Moscow at Prechistenka str., 17/9, phone number 6373126 http://infolegal.ru/

The following people will take part in the conference:

Sergei Golubok, lawyer (Saint Petersburg);

Marina Dubrovina, lawyer (Sochi);

Aleksander Klein, Roma activist;

Anna Udyarova, legal expert of ADC Memorial.

Video taken during raids in the Roma settlement in Bryansk:
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