ERTF commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Pharrajimos

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With a minute of silence at noon beside the Holocaust memorial stone in front of the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg, the European Forum for Roma and Travellers (ERTF) remembered more than 3,000 Roma exterminated by the German Nazis during the night of 2-3 August 1944 in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The ERTF calls upon those working to promote the rights of all Roma, Travellers and related groups throughout the world to organise their own events every 2nd August to ensure maximum visibility of this horrendous crime.

 

Honour the Roma victims – Invitation to a commemorative ceremony

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2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the genocide committed against Roma during the Second World War. The Roma nation commemorates this tragedy on August 2nd, the date on which over 3,000 Roma were exterminated in the evening of 2nd August 1944 in gas chamber V of "Zigeunerlager BIII" at Auschwitz – Birkenau. The genocide on Roma during the Second World War is by far the greatest tragedy in Roma history.

On this occasion Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum invites you to a commemorative ceremony in memory of the Roma victims on Friday, 1 August 2014 at 12.00 p.m. at the forecourt of the Palais de l'Europe.

ERTF REACTION ON THE SITUATION OF ROMA IN UKRAINE

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Over the past few months, the ERTF Secretariat received numerous alarming reports on observance of the rights of Roma in Ukraine. As in many other European countries Roma in the Ukraine are a marginalised and impoverished minority and under the current political circumstances they are caught between two fires and have become the scapegoat of various factions.

The first attacks against Roma have been recorded already in January during the demonstrations in Maidan followed by pogroms in Chorostyn, near Kiev. Groups of armed men attacked Roma homes, stole money and jewellery, beat up the inhabitants and threatened them with being shot unless they left immediately. In Eastern Ukraine hundreds of Roma families are fleeing the violence in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Slavjansk.

SURVEY: 2014 EP CANDIDATES & ROMA

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During the European elections from 22nd to 25th May 2014 all European Union (EU) citizens had the chance to determine the composition of the European Parliament (EP) for the next five years. This is of great importance since the political majority that has been elected is the one that will shape the European legislation, which affects every European Union citizen.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) firmly believes that the European Parliament, representing all European citizens, should play a vital role in improving the situation of Roma. Therefore we decided to develop a questionnaire on Roma to find out to what extent Roma inclusion will feature on the EP political agenda in the next term.

ERTF REACTION OVER PHYSICAL ATTACK OF A YOUNG ROMA

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The European Roma and Travellers Forum was shocked to learn that a young Roma was sequestrated and savagely beaten up by a group of people accusing him of robbery in Seine Saint-Denis, France. The young Roma is in a coma and his life seriously in danger. Our organisation is concerned that racist speeches against the Roma, too often without reaction from the authorities and sometimes even supported, by some politicians, are now developing into physical aggression and murder.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum hopes that this case will be properly investigated and the culprits condemned. The ERTF also calls on all organisations and individuals to stand up against this spiral of anti-gypsyism before the situation degenerates any further. We would like to express our deep sympathies to the Roma teenager and his family, with the hope that he will promptly recover.

Physical attack of a young Roma

ERTF reacts on the recent evictions in Paris

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Following the recent order for systematic evictions of Roma issued by the police of the 6th arrondissement in Paris, Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum(ERTF) send a letter to Ms Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. By expressing his deep concerns over such orders he also said that this is one more act of violence against Roma and lack of political will to deal with this urgent social problem. Furthermore, such actions stigmatize an entire community and "justify" unlawful racial profiling.