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European Roma and Travellers Forum condemns offer made by self-appointed "king" to US President

13.2.2017 19:44
Dorin Cioaba (PHOTO: http://jurnalul.ro)
Dorin Cioaba (PHOTO: http://jurnalul.ro)

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has indicated its dismay and outrage over the letter sent recently by Dorin Cioabă of Romania to US President Donald Trump suggesting that Romani people in particular should build a proposed wall between Mexico and the USA. The ERTF condemns ideas that foster segregation and discrimination in any form.

"Mr Cioabă thinks that we are living in the 19th century when Roma could be put to work as slaves in his country. If Mr Cioabă was genuinely interested in the welfare of the Roma he should start by helping them in his own country and not propose to send them abroad to work on a project, which politically and geographically does not concern European Roma," the ERTF's open letter reads.

"According to the latest research of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Roma, the largest ethnic minority continues to face intolerable discrimination in Europe, suffering from unemployment, social segregation and serious human rights violations that rise from a phenomenon known as anti-Gypsyism," continues the letter. The ERTF calls on local, international and national Romani organizations to also express their disagreement with Cioabă and to warn their members of the danger posed by such self-appointed leaders.

"We also call on ERRC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations to condemn Mr Cioabă’s initiative," the open letter says, calling also for the Evangelical Church, where Cioabă works as a pastor, to sanction his conduct. Cioabă, who has declared himself the "King of all Roma", sent his letter to the US President last week.

The letter promises Roma aid with building the controversial wall on the border between Mexico and the USA. Many human rights organizations and Roma ones have condemned the letter since it was sent.

adg, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Donald Trump, ERTF, Romania, USA



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