Czech Police investigating assault on Romani children as a felony now

A meeting was held on 9 April 2019 at the Municipal Authority of Lipník nad Bečvou between representatives of civil society, local residents, the municipality and the police. The agenda was discussion of the incident on Sunday during which a man and woman brutally assaulted several Romani children, several of whom have remained in hospital since then.
The police confirmed that they are now investigating the case as a felony, not as a misdemeanor against civil coexistence. Prosecutorial supervision has also been arranged. The meeting was attended by the vice-mayor, the head of the Czech Police in Lipník; representatives of local police; the Regional Coordinator for National Minorities, Renáta Köttnerová; field worker and career youth advisor Ivan Kandráč (from People in Need in Přerov); and two other representatives of the Romani community. The contact officer for national minorities from the Regional Directorate of the Police of the Czech Republic also attended.
For the children who have become victims of the attack, the presence of a psychologist able to provide aid as part of crisis intervention was also arranged on the basis of a request made by a staffer with the local drop-in club for children and youth. According to information news server Romea.cz received from Kandráč, the families of the assaulted children do not want any marches or protests held in Lipník in association with the attack.

via romeacz: Czech Police investigating assault on Romani children as a felony now

Bulgaria: Roma fear imminent genocide after mob violence, police have been deployed

News server sofiaglobe.com has reported that big numbers of police officers have been deployed to the town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria after an altercation in a shop on 7 April sparked anti-Romani protests by non-Romani residents. The protests then became a riot in which groups of non-Romani young men vandalized the homes of Romani people and those living on the outskirts of town. Tensions grew in the town after a video was released showing three men, apparently Romani, assaulting the employees of the shop. According to news reports from Bulgarian national television, the suspects were then arrested and kept in custody for 24 hours before being released without being accused or charged. After tensions in the town began to grow, police took the three suspects back into custody. The spontaneous protest, convened using social media, escalated to a point where the mob attempted to break into the building housing the detective services – representatives of the protesters were angry that police were, in their view, protecting the alleged perpetrators of the incident in the shop.
After attempting to raid the police station, the protesters moved on to the houses inhabited by Romani residents. Video footage shows the mob attacking the houses, throwing rocks through the windows and demolishing their chimneys, to the vehement applause of bystanders. According to sofiaglobe.com, Vice Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov was scheduled to meet with Interior Minister Mladen Marinoc and other cabinet members on Thursday, 11 April to discuss the situation in the town of roughly 58 000, which has a small Romani minority. News server shilfa.com reports that local Romani people greatly fear not just for their property, but for their lives and the lives of their children. Children were in the homes when the windows were broken during the protests (the lights were apparently even on in one home). Fortunately, nobody was physically injured by the violence.

via romea.cz: Bulgaria: Roma fear imminent genocide after mob violence, police have been deployed

Neo-fascist violence keeps Roma out of Rome neighbourhood

City council appears to capitulate after protesters set cars on fire and destroy food. The protest in Torre Maura, east Rome, was organised by the neo-fascist CasaPound party and the far-right Forza Nuova. Hundreds of neo-fascists, far-right activists and local residents took to the streets of a Rome suburb on Tuesday in a violent protest against 70 Roma people, including 33 children and 22 women, who were to be temporarily transferred to a reception centre in the area. Demonstrators set fire to cars and bins, destroyed food that was meant for Roma and prevented their entry into a shelter for vulnerable people. The protesters also included members of the neo-fascist CasaPound party and the far-right Forza Nuova, who finally forced the city council to transfer the Roma women and children to another neighbourhood. Prosecutors are opening an investigation into the violent protests, according to reports. They will examine whether criminal damage and threats with racial hatred an aggravating factor have been committed, said the ANSA news agency. The protests started on Tuesday afternoon when the local authorities announced that a bus would transfer 70 Roma to a reception centre in Torre Maura, an eastern suburb. Within a few hours, about 300 protesters gathered in front of the entrance of the building, setting fire to cars and bins. In the afternoon, Forza Nuova said in a statement: “We are ready to raise black flags and the Italian flag against the invasion and ethnic substitution.” The protesters then stormed a van containing sandwiches and water destined for Roma and destroyed the food. In a video published by the newspaper la Repubblica, protesters are seen trampling on food, while someone shouts: “They must die of hunger.” On Wednesday, Rome’s city council, which is controlled by the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), appeared to capitulate and announced it had decided to relocate the Roma in another area.

via guardian: Neo-fascist violence keeps Roma out of Rome neighbourhood

Roma attacked in Paris after fake news reports

Community leaders call for protection after false reports spark vigilante attacks. Children play in the camp of a Roma community that was attacked during the night of 25 March in Bobigny, near Paris. Roma leaders in Paris have called for police protection after a series of vigilante attacks sparked by false reports of attempted child abductions. Police arrested 20 people after attacks on Roma on Monday night in suburbs north-east of Paris that followed false rumours spread on messaging apps and social media warning of kidnappings. “We are calling today on the interior ministry … for immediate protection by way of round-the-clock police presence,” Anina Ciuciu, a spokesperson for the Voice of Roma group, told RMC radio. She said the reports were “a revival of the medieval stereotype” of Roma in which “Gypsies are likened to thieves and child-catchers”. The attacks appear to have been sparked by the re-emergence of a longstanding online hoax in which people warn of a white van being used in attempted kidnappings of young women or children.
Police have renewed calls not to relay the claims and confirmed that there have been no reports of kidnappings in the area. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux called the attacks unacceptable, adding that they showed “the absolute need to fight ‘fake news’”. “Spreading such rumours in a highly organised and viral way on social media results in violence [and] the stigmatisation of a community,” he said, calling the process “detestable”. In one attack on Monday night in the suburb of Bobigny, some 50 people armed with sticks and knives set upon Roma people living in a nearby slum, setting fire to their parked vans.

via guardian: Roma attacked in Paris after fake news reports

Melton Mowbray caravan arson treated as hate crime

A fire which destroyed caravans in Leicestershire is being treated as both arson and a hate crime. Seven caravans were found alight on Monday night at a site off Sandy Lane, Melton Mowbray. The site has been allocated for travellers but was not being used at the time of the attack. There are no reports of other property being damaged or anyone injured. Police have asked anyone with information about the attack to contact them.

via bbc: Melton Mowbray caravan arson treated as hate crime

The arrest for a child’s murder that sparked anti-Roma riots in Ukraine may be based on faked DNA evidence

Shocking riots against Roma in Odesa oblast sparked by arrest of a man with an alibi Police, who watched on as homes were destroyed by Loschchynivka mob, now deny there were riots Murder trial but no probe into police inaction during anti-Roma pogrom in Loshchynivka Ukrainian prosecutor refuses to investigate police inaction during shocking anti-Roma pogrom Terrifying Precedent Set by Authorities’ Response to Violent Anti-Roma Pogrom Apparently damning ‘evidence’ linking a murdered child with the young Roma man whose arrest for the killing led to appalling riots in the Odesa oblast may have been faked. It would be difficult otherwise to explain how the hand swab taken from the suspect contained only the murder victim’s DNA, and not his. This is not the first indication of problems with the indictment against a young man held in detention for over two and a half years, who has reportedly contracted tuberculosis while in custody. It is, however, particularly disturbing since it would seem to point to deliberate falsification of evidence. Chebotar, then 21, was arrested shortly after 8-year-old Angelina’s body was found near her home in Loshchynivka on 27 August 2016. The young man had lived in the area all his life, however the fact that he was of Roma origin was used by around local residents to prompt riots that destroyed several Roma homes and forced their inhabitants to flee. The riots made world headlines, in part because the authorities effectively went along with the rioters, ‘persuading’ Roma families to leave the area.
The trial for murder of Chebotar began in November 2017 in the Prymorsky Court in Odesa and has so far only questioned six witnesses, with 44 others due to be called, as well as eight experts. On 14 February, the court yet again extended Chebotar’s detention, rejecting the defence’s application for a less severe restraint measure. That ruling came after testimony that appears to give Chebotar an alibi and on the same day as testimony which seriously undermines crucial evidence against the young man. Tetyana Gerasimova, from the Centre for Legal Monitoring, reports that the questioning, by video link, took place on 14 February of Ihor Manzoruk, the specialist who carried out molecular-genetic expert assessments of the blood of the murder victim and of Chebotar and compared these with traces of DNA on a list of items provided by the Central Department of the National Police in the Odesa oblast. The proceedings began with one of Chebotar’s lawyers, Andriy Leshchenko, asking that two documents be added to the case material, namely the letter sent together with the items and the protocol recording receipt of DNA samples from Chebotar for the assessment, these being swabs from both hands. Leshchenko explained that the packets containing the items listed in the accompanying letter do not coincide with the packets containing the items examined by Manzoruk. If this is confirmed, then the defence will be fully justified in demanding that the material of this assessment be declared inadmissible.

via khpg: The arrest for a child’s murder that sparked anti-Roma riots in Ukraine may be based on faked DNA evidence

Nazi-Schmierereien an der Adendorfer Grundschule

Unbekannte haben in der Nacht zu Sonntag nahezu sämtliche Erdgeschossfenster und Türen der Grundschule in der Dorfstraße in Adendorf mit verfassungsfeindlichen Symbolen beschmiert. Sie sprühten diverse Hakenkreuze und Schriftzüge und zerstörten eine Gedenktafel, die an die Ermordung des Sinto-Jungen Wolfgang Mirosch durch die Nazis erinnerte. Jetzt ermitteln Polizei und Staatsschutz. Adendorfs Bürgermeister Thomas Maack (SPD) verurteilt die Tat auf das Schärfste. Zumal es sich nicht um den ersten Anschlag mit Nazi-Symbolen auf das Schulgebäude handelt: Ende Oktober vergangangenen Jahres hatten Unbekannte schon einmal die Gedenktafeln zerstört. Der damals Siebenjährige Wolfang Mirosch war 1942/43 in Adendorf an der Dorfstraße zur Schule gegangen, wurde 1943 durch die Nazis deportiert und im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz ermordet. Dass jetzt abermals ein Anschlag auf das Schulgebäude mit verfassungsfeindlichen rechten Symbolen verübt wurde, empört Bürgermeister Maack: „Wir haben sofort reagiert. Bedienstete des Bauhofes sowie der Hausmeister haben die Schmierereien gestern noch beseitigt“, berichtet der Rathauschef. Auch die zerstörte Erinerungstafel an Wolfang Mirosch sei bereits durch eine neue ersetzt worden.

via landeszeitung: Nazi-Schmierereien an der Adendorfer Grundschule

Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in #Ukraine – ##azov

Five years after the Maidan uprising, anti-Semitism and fascist-inflected ultranationalism are rampant. Five years ago, Ukraine’s Maidan uprising ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, to the cheers and support of the West. Politicians and analysts in the United States and Europe not only celebrated the uprising as a triumph of democracy, but denied reports of Maidan’s ultranationalism, smearing those who warned about the dark side of the uprising as Moscow puppets and useful idiots. Freedom was on the march in Ukraine. Today, increasing reports of far-right violence, ultranationalism, and erosion of basic freedoms are giving the lie to the West’s initial euphoria. There are neo-Nazi pogroms against the Roma, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, book bans, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators.
These stories of Ukraine’s dark nationalism aren’t coming out of Moscow; they’re being filed by Western media, including US-funded Radio Free Europe (RFE); Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and watchdogs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House, which issued a joint report warning that Kiev is losing the monopoly on the use of force in the country as far-right gangs operate with impunity. Five years after Maidan, the beacon of democracy is looking more like a torchlight march. The DC establishment’s standard defense of Kiev is to point out that Ukraine’s far right has a smaller percentage of seats in the parliament than their counterparts in places like France. That’s a spurious argument: What Ukraine’s far right lacks in polls numbers, it makes up for with things Marine Le Pen could only dream of—paramilitary units and free rein on the streets.
Post-Maidan Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces. The Azov Battalion was initially formed out of the neo-Nazi gang Patriot of Ukraine. Andriy Biletsky, the gang’s leader who became Azov’s commander, once wrote that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” Biletsky is now a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament. In the fall of 2014, Azov—which is accused of human-rights abuses, including torture, by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations—was incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard. While the group officially denies any neo-Nazi connections, Azov’s nature has been confirmed by multiple Western outlets: The New York Times called the battalion “openly neo-Nazi,” while USA Today, The Daily Beast, the Telegraph, and Haaretz documented group members’ proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols, and individual fighters have also acknowledged being neo-Nazis. In January 2018, Azov rolled out its National Druzhina street patrol unit whose members swore personal fealty to Biletsky and pledged to “restore Ukrainian order” to the streets. The Druzhina quickly distinguished itself by carrying out pogroms against the Roma and LGBT organizations and storming a municipal council. Earlier this year, Kiev announced the neo-Nazi unit will be monitoring polls in next month’s presidential election.

via thenation: Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine

Strong European Parliament call to address antigypsyism

The Alliance Against Antigypsyism welcomes the adoption of a European Parliament Resolution yesterday calling the EU and Member States to adopt strong Roma inclusion plans post-2020 and to step up the fight against antigypsyism – the specific form of racism towards Roma. “This Resolution is a step forward in the recognition of antigypsyism as the root cause of social exclusion of Roma”, said Gabriela Hrabanova, Director of the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network. “We now need both the European Commission and EU Member States to take that commitment forward when they develop future Roma inclusion plans to be implemented from 2020 onwards.” The Resolution calls for a number of measures to improve the EU Roma Framework after 2020, including: a stronger focus on antigypsyism and a specific goal on non-discrimination; the involvement of Roma in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Roma inclusion strategies; ensuring that intersectional discrimination, gender mainstreaming and a child-centred approach are properly addressed; and the inclusion of a truth, recognition and reconciliation process.
When revising National Roma Integration Strategies, EU Member States should recognise antigypsyism as a form of racism and ensure appropriate sanctions, in line with national anti-discrimination and anti-racism legislative frameworks. Member States should also make sure that they allocate adequate national funding to measures for Roma inclusion and for combating antigypsyism, in addition to European funds. In addition, although the Resolution acknowledges the importance of involving Roma in the design of the EU Framework, there is a need for a proper mechanism, including financial resources, to ensure that lip service is not paid to Roma participation.

via enar: Strong European Parliament call to address antigypsyism

Der Völkermord an den Sinti und Roma

Mit “Vernichtung durch Arbeit” in Konzentrationslagern und Zwangssterilisation wollten die Nazis das “Zigeunerproblem” lösen. In Dachau, Flossenbürg und vor allem in Auschwitz wurde das bittere Realität. Mit dem bayerischen “Zigeunergesetz” von 1926 hatte sich die Situation für Sinti und Roma schon vor Hitlers Machtübernahme erheblich verschärft. Nach 1933 waren “Arbeitsscheue” und “Asoziale” – im NS-Jargon lebten die Begriffe der 1920er-Jahre fort – noch mehr im Visier der Behörden. Ab 1935 begann die offizielle Verfolgung aus rassistischen Gründen. Mit den Nürnberger Gesetzen wurden nicht nur Juden, sondern auch Sinti und Roma herabgestuft, obwohl sie im Sinne der Nationalsozialisten wegen ihrer indischen Herkunft eigentlich hätten als “Arier” eingestuft werden müssen. Begründet wurde dies pseudowissenschaftlich: “Artfremdes Blut ist alles Blut, das nicht deutsches Blut … ist”, schrieben Wilhelm Stuckart und Hans Globke, später Kanzleramtschef unter Konrad Adenauer, in den Kommentar von 1936 zu den Nürnberger Gesetzen. (…) Die systematische Verschleppung in Konzentrationslager, zunächst nach Dachau, Sachsenhausen und Buchenwald, begann 1936. Ab 1940 wurden Sinti und Roma – unter ihnen auch Kinder – zudem in Arbeitslager und Ghettos im von Deutschland besetzten Polen deportiert. Wer dort nicht durch Hunger und Krankheit zugrunde ging, wurde im Januar 1942 im Vernichtungslager Chelmno vergast. Am 16. Dezember 1942 verkündete SS-Führer Heinrich Himmler den sogenannten “Auschwitz-Erlass”. Porajmos (“Verschlingen”) heißt bei Sinti und Roma das, was Juden Shoa nennen – gemeint ist der Völkermord. Die Karte zeigt die wesentlichen Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager, in denen Sinti und Roma ermordet wurden. [mehr – Wissen | zur Infografik: Porajmos – Ermordete Sinti und Roma in Europa ]
Ab Februar 1943 wurden insgesamt rund 23.000 Sinti und Roma ins Vernichtungslager Auschwitz-Birkenau transportiert, wo die SS ein eigenes “Zigeunerlager” in 30 ursprünglich als Pferdeställe gedachte Baracken einrichtete.

via br: Der Völkermord an den Sinti und Roma