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Open letter from ERTF regarding Italian action on fingerprinting Roma living in camps

Strasbourg, 13.7.2008 16:11, (ROMEA)

Your Excellencies

The European Roma and Travellers Forum is seriously concerned about the action of the Italian authorities on fingerprinting Roma living in the camps across he country – adults and children alike – brushing aside the concerns of the European nstitutions and International organisations. Having regard the Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms, the principles of equality and nondiscrimination, the right to privacy and data protection, as recognised by the International and European conventions protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the European Convention on Human Rights and the related jurisprudence and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as the International Convention on Children’s Rights today the European Roma and Travellers Forum call upon all Governments of European and non- European member states to:

- prevent the Italian authorities to refrain from conducting a census that includes the possibility of fingerprinting Roma and Roma minors, as this is in contradiction with the prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination foreseen in the EU directive on race and ethnicity, while a further discrimination between Roma and other citizens is enacted as
the latter do not have to undergo similar procedures;

- asks the European Commission and the Council to make sure that Member States apply EU law consistently and fully, and to take the necessary measures shall this not be the case.

We believe that now is a crucial moment to press 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.

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 European, to democracy and the rule of law.

Sincerely,

Rudko Kawczynski
President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum

Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum
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