Romanian defenders of Roma: French President inciting racism
One of the main organizations defending the rights of Roma people in Romania has charged French President François Hollande with inciting racism. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the group is responding to a recent attack against Roma in Paris.
"Your aim is to rid France of Roma... irrespective of the Constitution, European laws, or human rights," AFP quotes from the letter sent by the CRISS association in Romania to European Commission President José Barosso and Hollande today. "Your policy and your speeches incite racism and violence against Roma people."
The letter also reminds the officials of a fire that took place in a Roma camp in 2012 and of other attacks against members of the Roma minority in France. CRISS reproaches the responsible French authorities for neither condemning nor punishing these crimes and says they "support a policy based on the same type of sentiments" as those supposedly held by the perpetrators of these incidents.
The organization is also angry with Hollande for "continuing the policy of collective deportations" that began with his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. "At first glance your policy might be considered successful, as you managed to deport tens of thousands of Roma in just one year," the group writes ironically.
AFP also notes that a recent report published by the European Roma Rights Centre and the French Human Rights League states that Paris continued to liquidate a record number of Roma encampments during 2013. Hollande, however, said at a midyear press conference last year that the French government had nothing to be ashamed of with respect to its Roma policy, as he believed everything was being done within the framework of the law.
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