American Council for Romani Equality Meets with Hungary Embassy, Discuss Racist Threats in Hungary

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Human rights activists, led by the American Council for Romani Equality meet with Hungary embassy officials to express concern over rising racism and life threats against the Roma ethnic minority in Hungary. This is the first time in years that Roma American organizations are demanding dialogue with the Hungarian government. Racist groups have increased activity in Hungary in recent months, including large-scale marches through neighborhood where ethnic minority Roma live. Neo-Nazis have bused their supporters into minority areas to march and shout death threats. At a recent anti-Roma demonstration in the town of Cegled, members of the national parliament even took part.

Racist groups have increased activity in Hungary in recent months, including large-scale marches through neighborhood where ethnic minority Roma live. Neo-Nazis have bused their supporters into minority areas to march and shout death threats.

See also http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2012/08/hungarian-anti-roma-marches

On Thursday, August 30 human rights and Roma American community advocates (including representatives of the ACRE, or American Council for Romani Equality and Romani ZOR), outraged by the Hungarian government’s inaction and passivity, will meet with Hungarian embassy officials to discuss the safety of Roma citizens of Hungary. At a recent anti-Roma demonstration in the town of Cegled, members of the national parliament even took part.

During World War Two, Gypsies were marked for extermination by the Nazis and Hungary, under a fascist government, deported many Roma to Nazi death camps (http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005219). Roma in Hungary continue to suffer from discriminatory treatment in education, employment and other areas. (http://www.errc.org/browse-by-country/Hungary/96)

This is the first time that Roma American organizations have met with Hungarian diplomats.

Jud Nirenberg, Chairperson of the American Council for Romani Equality says: “More has to be done, and right away. The ruling party in Hungary has been shamefully quiet about recent and increasing violence and threats against Roma and even about the encouragement that those advocating genocide have received from members of parliament. Hungary needs to be reminded that the relationship between our countries is not based on trade or tourism alone. The American public’s friendship with Hungary will only be as strong as our shared belief in democracy and equality.”

Contact: Jud Nirenberg, Chair, American Council for Romani Equality, 202 747 4498, jnirenberg(at)hotmail(dot)com, http://www.romaniequality.com

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