Reagarding the latest events in Italy, following the horrific murder of an Italian woman, when Romanian Roma was suspected, which leads to immediate expulsion of Roma, buldozing of Romani setlements, and anti-Romani settlement in the media and in the public life.
Mr. Traian Basescu
President of Romania
Mr. Călin Popescu – Tăriceanu
Prime Minister of Romania
Mr. Romano Prodi
Prime Minister of Italy
President of the European Parliament
Mr. Terry Davis
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Mr. Nicolae Paun
Deputy in the Parliament of Romania
European Roma and Travellers Forum
National Roma Centrum (NRC) is civil and human rights based organisation, aimed at combating anti-Romani racisms and human rights abuse of Roma, representing and stimulating the active participation and integration of Romani people on the principles of the modern multiethnic European society.
NRC is writing to express grave concern following the horrific murder of an Italian woman, Mrs. Giovanna Reggiani, and on the other hand systematic violence and abuse of Roma in Italy, irrelevant if they are Romanian Roma in Italy or Italian Roma. Please do not exploit the emotions which followed Mrs Reggiani’s killing in order to evict and to expel Roma. On November 1, the Italian government issued a decree according to which EU citizens deemed to pose a threat to public order and security can be deported from the country. Italy’s authorities pushed through an emergency decree allowing for the immediate expulsion without trial of any immigrants deemed to represent a threat to public safety.
Italy’s legislation allows judges to sign an order ordering the immediate expulsion of immigrants the police judge to be a threat. There is no trial, no appeal and no need for police to provide proof of a criminal record. The power to expel people simply on suspicion goes too far and could lead to disproportionate outcomes punishing too many innocent people or who fear calls for a similar law in their own countries. Suspicious of non Roma regarding Roma has created hate against Roma.
Roma camps on the outskirts of Rome are being bulldozed, but at first the Italian authorities have made the greatest mistake by failing to prevent this kind of ’settlement’, – ghettoes and collective camps for Roma.
The letter expresses particular concern at the eviction of approximately 1 000 Romanian Roma from the Via dell’Imbarco, Magliana area of Rome on 19 July 2007.
Free movement of goods, capital and persons is one of the cornerstones of the European single market. Each individual case must therefore be examined and each deportation justified. There is no law preventing EU citizens travelling to and settling in another EU nation. A generalised assumption that Roma represent a threat to public security is not enough.
But now one of the fundamental rights of all EU citizens is in jeopardy: freedom of movement. Now hatred toward Roma that was first created and then fanned by the media is spreading throughout Italy and easily it can be spread throughout European countries where Roma are living. Even worse is the fact that ethnic criteria are being used to explain criminal tendencies. The most unfortunate consequence of this ideology is that it makes dialogue between cultures impossible. The minorities flee to the ghettoes and ‘tolerance’ generally means nothing more than mutual ignorance. We suddenly forget that we’re cultivated, multicultural Europeans.
We urge to the Romanian and European authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough and effective investigation and condemnation about the racists violence toward Roma. We urge mature and honest debate to be held in the highest European institutions in order to stop the violence, eviction and deportation of Roma.
President of NRC
Delegate European and Roma Travellers Forum Strasbourg
Spokesperson Roma National Congress