October 2006

This ‘Open’ Letter is sent initially and directly to the Executive Secretary at the Secretariat of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), but is intended to be considered, heeded and acted upon by all persons of Power & Influence throughout Europe.

Did they mean it when they said: “NEVER AGAIN!”?


Despite the horrific memories and the stench of death that still linger over post-Hitler Europe, even after the passing of so many years, like a cloud drawn from a scene of Dante's "INFERNO", and notwithstanding the hypocritical calls demanding a "Change to a more just, equal and tolerant society.", within Europe and the world at large, set formally within the United Nations Charter and reiterated, and elaborated, by subsequent Conventions and agreements, pen racism and direct hostility toward some ethnic minority groups are still tolerated and even ‘openly fostered’ by most European countries that are Member States, (or about to become members), of the European Union?

As a principle officer, serving as Media-rep. for both the INTERNATIONAL GYPSY UNION, and the INTERNATIONAL ROMANI GUILD, I beg, (A claim that all Gypsy are, supposedly guilty of?), to direct your attention toward the ongoing maltreatment of the Romani minority throughout Europe.

Let none among you, particularly the influential politicians and leaders of E.U. Member States dare to claim; "But we, in my country, do not treat the "Gypsy", the Romani People, unfairly or with any racial antagonism!"... Should you dare make such claim, then I can only respond by saying..... "You lie!".

I/we, as Gypsy, find it most peculiar that, whilst an important, and fundamental, requirement for any country aspiring to membership, or already sharing membership status, of the European Union is the encouragement and enforcement of equality and justice to all citizens, regardless of their race or ethnicity, the Romani (Gypsy) appear to have been made an exception to this requirement?

I'll not attempt to fill page after page with case-notes and citations that affirm the guilt of each and every European Union Member-state. You know who they are and what they've done, yet the E.U. as a collective group, have done little or nothing, (Other than to waffle on with a load of hypocritical conferences, seminars, etc?), to put right this unholy injustice toward the "Gypsy".

The obvious cases; Greece, Italy, Spain, the UK with their "Gypsy Clearance" projects in preparation for the Olympic Games, without due and proper re-location of the Romani affected, are many and well publicised, (Although little heeded?), whilst the coerced, (Illegal), sterilization of Romani females in countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, etc. are also well-documented, (Yet little remarked?).

Any Romani, be they Roma or Sinti in countries such as Germany, France, Austria, the UK, etc. can show instance of the blatant breach of their human rights?

Member states, "under consideration" (?), for EU Membership. such as Bulgaria, are, quite openly, falling far short of the requirements for E. U. membership, certainly so far as their attitudes and policies toward the Romani are concerned... this is clearly instanced in the recent call for a change in the law, by the Bulgarian Health Minister, Radoslav Gaydarski, which would severely limit the birth rate among the Romani population of Bulgaria, tantamount to genocide. The Minister even went so far as to call for a meeting between Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, intended to address the issue of the high, (proportionally), Romani birth rate, along with the neo-natal situation that leads to Bulgaria having about the highest infant-mortality rate in the whole of Europe. A major concern appearing to be the fear, among ethnic Bulgarians, that the Rom will eventually form the largest ethnic group in that country?

I have insufficient time, ink or paper, to list the instances of arson attacks and other physical assaults, (even torture and murder), made against the Gypsy, the Romani, throughout the various countries that form the European Union. One related fact is clear and beyond dispute; Nazism and neo-fascism are accelerating so as to become firmly established (Yet again), in Germany, Austria and throughout much of Europe?

The call has often been made: "Never Again!", in reference to any repeat of the Unholy Slaughter, of Romani, along with Jews and others...

On behalf of us all; I would make the plea to you and others of influence:

Please! Give that call substance?

In the words of a fellow Rom, MEP for Barcelona;

"May you enjoy the dreams you deserve!"

Tom Odley (Romanichal)
Media Officer, for the International Gypsy Union & the International Romani Gui

The International Gypsy Union is a non-profit organization aiming to represent the voices and the views of individual and groups of Romany (Gypsy), in Europe and throughout the world. Unlike other, so-called, “Romani-representative organizations”, the I.G.U. does not accept funds from Gohja (Non-Rom) bodies or from any government; therefore we are able to avoid detrimental influences from non-Romani sources. We welcome input from individual Gypsy and Romani groups that are unfettered by Gohja control. Our overriding aim is to have, for them, a world-wide society wherein they, The Romani Chave, may live in reasonable peace and enjoy fair and equal treatment, free from the racism and hatred presently offered to them and which has, for so many hundreds of years, been the lot of the Romani Fohki.

International Gypsy Union….