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Opre Roma! Europe must stop the racist attacks in Ukraine and Italy!

Today, on August 2nd, on the occasion of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, we stand in solidarity with Roma across Europe who protest Europe’s continuous lack of action to protect Roma against violence and pogroms.

Roma and affiliated groups such as Sinti, Manush and others, present the largest ethnic minority in Europe and possibility also the one most discriminated against. Porajmos, the Roma Holocaust, remains often ignored in history books, in commemoration traditions as well as on official commemoration sites. On August 2, we commemorate the extermination of the Roma camp in Auschwitz in 1944.

Meanwhile, the oppression of Roma, including pogroms continue in a number of countries across Europe. In Ukraine, Roma settlements are being set on fire and subjected to violent attacks. Most recently, a kindergarten was reportedly set on fire. In Italy, Mateo Salvini aims to count Roma and deport those who are not of Italian origin. What, is more Salvini has called for a “mass cleansing street by street, piazza by piazza, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.”

“Proposing an ethnic census while calling for ‘cleansing’ is absolutely distatestful given Europe’s history of Roma genocide. The EU must stop the racist attacks and pogroms in Ukraine and Italy immediately. But it must also do more to establish a dignified commemoration of the Romani Holocaust,“ says Katri Yilinen, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG.

“We stand in solidarity with Roma who are fighting for justice across Europe and encourage all Roma, in particular Roma women, to organize politically. Without political representation, Roma will continue being marginalized. Our member organizations will be happy to welcome Roma in their ranks,” says Zuzana Pavelková, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG.


In the picture: Roma in the Czech Republic protest against the pogroms in Ukraine and Italy

Photocredit: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec