At The Multicultural Politic, we support campaigns against discrimination everywhere and anywhere in the world. Across Europe and especially in Hungary and Slovakia, the global recession has strengthened far-right parties and fascist groups. The Gypsy and Roma people have been at the front line of persecution and discrimination especially by these groups in Eastern Europe.
by Ulrike Schmidt & Justin Baidoo
The rise of right extremist and fascist parties and organisations in some European countries, particularly in Hungary have brought a sharp increase in violent attacks on Roma people. Often these attacks occur after a meeting or demonstration of fascist organisations like Magyar Garda or the “Hungarian Guard”.
The attacks often involve shootings of random Roma people and firebombing of houses. In this racist crime wave, very rarely are the attackers brought to justice, which might not be coincidental as one trade union of police officers has affiliated itself to the Jobbik Party and called in their newsletter for war against Gypsis and Jews. Ketrin Balogh and her mother Maria Balogh were attacked in their home at night and shot. Maria died, her 13 year old daughter Ketrin survived with severe injuries which might never heal. Amnesty International Hungary is running a solidarity campaign for Ketrin.
In Italy, the right-wing coalition government headed by Silvio Berlusconi has put forward a plan to fingerprint all Roma children, which has been criticised by the European Parliament and UNICEF. A few weeks after announcing these plans Italian citizens are photographed sun-bathing near the dead bodies of two drowned Roma girls. With Italy also legalising far-right militias, attacks on Roma and Gypsy people continue to take place, by forced evictions by authorities as well as vigilante violence. This problem goes as far as the United Kingdom as we shouldn’t forget the brutal attacks by Irish Neo Nazis on Roma people in Belfast a year ago.
This Friday 9th July, In London, Amnesty Hackney & Islington and Amnesty Waltham Forest Presents:
“Romani Dreams” - An evening devoted to Romani culture, also highlighting the recent rise of violence against Roma people in Europe.
A night of Refreshments, poetry, music, debate and film
Venue: Amnesty International UK , Human Rights Action Centre, 17‐25 New Inn’s Yard, London EC2A 3EA
Kate Allen – Director of Amnesty International
Ognyan Stanchev – Roma Rights Advocate
Alex Jagger – AI/UK co‐ordinator for Central Europe
Barbora Cernusakova – Researcher for Amnesty International IS
Weyman Bennett – Joint Secretary, Unite Against Fascism
A news report about the rise of the Hungarian Guard:
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