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ERTF PressPelease: Protest NOTE toward Italian Gouvernment

Strasbourg, 10.7.2008 16:51, (ERTF)

Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, delivered to Mr Pietro Lonardo, Permanent Representative of Italy at the Council of Europe a protest note requesting to stop the anti-Roma action of the Italian authorities on fingerprinting Roma living in the camps across the country, brushing aside the concerns of the European Institutions and International organisations.

"Similar activities to this one are not only a threat to the Roma community. These activities remind us of the Nazi and Fascist periods in the early 1930s, when Roma/Sinti and Jews were singled out for discrimination and persecution leading finally to the genocide of millions of innocent people. Nowadays this is a serious threat to the future of the Europeans, to democracy and the rule of law" Mr. Kawczynski wrote in the protest note addressed to the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The protest note, written on behalf of 15 million Roma urges the Italian authorities to stop its anti-Roma activities immediately and to undertake all necessary measures to stop the Anti-Roma pogroms and ensure safe and secure life of all Roma living in Italy as well as the full implementation of international laws and standards.

‘We believe that also the international institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, OSCE and the United Nations should take a stand and condemn the actions of the Italian government as inhumane and unacceptable’ Mr Kawczynski said as a closing remark of the protest note.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum has been looking very closely at the incidents of violent attacks on the settlements in Italy, police brutality and violations, hate speech in which hundreds of Roma have been forced to run for fear of their life.

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