ERTF complaint against Luc Jousse Mayor of Roquebrune sur Argens, France: one year of ineligibility

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Following the ERTF and the League for Human Rights complaints against him, Luc Jousse, mayor of Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Southern France, was prosecuted for "incitement to hatred or violence on the grounds of ethnicity". He was found guilty by the Criminal Court of Draguignan and was condemned to a 10.000 € fine. Luc Jousse will appeal this sentence.

The mayor held an offensive statement against the Roma community during a public meeting, leading to the complaint of two associations, including the League for Human Rights in November 2013. Luc Jousse was absent for the deliberation. His lawyer, Elodie Gigant, immediately appealed that decision. The Mayor can therefore keep his current mandate.

According to Var-Matin, the Court allocated 2.000€ for damages to the plaintiffs.

The ERTF is holding its 2014 Plenary Assembly in Strasbourg

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On 18-19 November, the ERTF will hold its 2014 Plenary Assembly in the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg.
This is the first Plenary Assembly under the new Statute, adopted in 2013, which sets out basic changes in the structure and functions of the organisation. The meeting will bring together over 60 Roma representatives of international and national organisations from several Council of Europe member states.

The European Parliament, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, relevant sectors of the Council of Europe and representatives of the diplomatic missions in Strasbourg are invited to attend the meeting.

The 2014 Plenary Assembly will elect a President and Executive Committee, and define the 2014-2016 work strategy of the ERTF to meet the challenges that the Roma Community is facing across the Council of Europe member states.

You can find the agenda here.

Exhibition «Des Tsiganes, aussi - Mémoire et oubli»

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Exhibition « Des Tsiganes, aussi - Mémoire et oubli » (« And The Roma too. Memory and Lapse ») - Lieu d'Europe- Strasbourg

On 15-16 November, in the framework of the 3rd edition of the Equality week organised by the City of Strasbourg, the European Forum for Roma and Travellers presented the exhibition « Des Tsiganes, aussi - Mémoire et oubli » by Francine Mayran.

Painter and psychiatrist, Francine Mayran presented her memory paintings about the Roma Genocide during Second World War. "Through her memory paintings, the artist wants to pay tribute to people who are still victims of discrimination and prejudice today, and bring a different point of view on their culture. She reminds us all the painful part of their history...our history".

“A people uncounted” presented in Strasbourg

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On 14 November 2014, in the framework of the 3rd edition of the Equality week organised by the City of Strasbourg, and with its constant concern of promoting the recognition of the Roma Genocide, the European Forum for Roma and Travellers presented the movie A people Uncounted ( Aaron Yeger, Canada, 2012, 95 mn) at the Cinéma Odyssée. A People Uncounted tells the story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies-a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture. The Roma have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe, most notably the Holocaust genocide where an estimated 500,000 were murdered. A People Uncounted documents their culturally rich yet often difficult lives, and demonstrates how their present state has been deeply shaped by the tragedies of the past.


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Civil Society contribution on establishing a structured policy dialogue with the European Commission

(Brussels, 9 September, 2014): We are European level organisations that wish to engage in a structured policy dialogue with the European Commission to contribute to the policy process on meaningful Roma integration by offering our expertise and experience. For that purpose we have prepared this position paper that aims to lead the discussion on the proposed agenda point entitled 'structured policy dialogue' at the consultation meeting with the European Commission on September 17th in Brussels.

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.


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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.