ERRC Calls Italian Government to Stop Anti-Romani Pogroms
On 16 May 2008, the European Roma Rights Centre sent a letter to high-ranking Italian government authorities demanding intervention following anti-Romani pogroms taking place in Naples. The letter, sent to the Italian Prime Minister, the Italian President, the Minister of Interior, the head of the Italy’s National Office Against Racial Discrimination and the Public Prosecutor, pointed to similarities between the recent events in Italy and anti-Romani pogroms taking place in Romania in the early 1990s, for which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Romania three times since 2005. The ERRC also highlighted the responsibility of high ranking Italian politicians for contributing to the current climate of hostility against Roma in Italy.
In its letter, which was also copied to various intergovernmental institutions, the ERRC urged Italian authorities to:
1) Provide adequate protection to all Roma in Italy against violence racist attacks and other discriminatory actions;
2) Firmly denounce the pogroms which have taken place to date;
3) Ensure adequate and effective investigation of the events in Naples, Milan and elsewhere, and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all responsible persons, including public officials making hostile statements about Roma which incite racial hatred; and
4) Fully co-operate with intergovernmental institutions, international organizations and domestic civil society to swiftly and effective end the human rights emergency of Roma in Italy.
The full draft of the letter is available online at: http://www.errc.org/db/03/03/m00000303.pdf.
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