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ERRC Condemns Anti-Romani Actions in Russia

Budapest, 7.2.2007 13:37, (ROMEA/ERRC)

On 1 February 2007, the ERRC sent two letters to Russian authorities expressing concern at anti-Romani actions in the country and urging immediate action to end such incidents.

The first letter, sent to Mr Pavel Gusev, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper "Moskovskij Komsomoletc", expressed concern about the rise of anti-Romani hate speech in the newspaper and the regular and apparently habitual linkage of Roma with crime. The letter, which was copied to the Director of the Central Regional Administration of Rosohrancultura, urged employees of the newspaper to take a firm stand against anti-Romani hate speech and to refrain from publishing inflammatory anti-Romani language. The full text of letter is available on the ERRC's Internet website at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2720

The second letter was sent to Mr Mikhail Cukruk, Chief of the Department of the Ministry of Interior of Volgograd Region, and expressed concern recent police raids in the city of Volzhskiy, undertaken within the framework of a police action called "Operation Tabor". The action, the name of which points directly to anti-Romani actions by law enforcement officials ("tabors" are Romani settlements), is the most recent in a series of explicitly anti-Romani actions by Russian police taking place since 2002. In its letter, the ERRC urged Russian authorities to take immediate measures to end abusive police operations targeting Roma in the region of Volgograd. The full text of the letter, which was copied to the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, is available online at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2720

The letters are a part of ongoing ERRC work in the Russian Federation to combat hate speech against Roma and the problems experienced by Roma in the Russian criminal justice system. Since 2006, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supported ERRC work in the Russian Federation.

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web athttp://www.errc.org.

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