Special to Earthpages.orgHindus are asking for immediate intervention of European Union (EU) in Czech Republic and Hungary to protect the Roma minorities in view of recent reported incidents of violence.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged EU and countries of Europe to urgently take steps to end apartheid of their Roma people, terming it as immoral and a dark stain on the face of Europe.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was moral obligation of Europe to take care of its largest minority Roma population and stop human rights violations reportedly regularly suffered by them, who numbered around ten million and were the most disadvantaged.
Rajan Zed further said that references to Roma people in Europe reportedly went as far back as ninth century AD and asked, “How many more centuries Roma have to reside in Europe to prove that they are ‘real and equal’ Europeans like any other.”
Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of Council of Europe, in his Viewpoint published on April 27 on Council website, said, “Anti-Gypsyism continues to be a major human rights problem in Europe – governments must start taking serious action against both official and inter-personal discrimination of Roma”.
He cited incidents where Roma children were forced to strip and violently slap one another in a Slovakia police station, sudden eviction of Roma families in Belgrade without alternative accommodation, etc. He asks in the Viewpoint, “Would this have happened to non-Roma?”
A joint statement recently released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, said
Our organisations are deeply concerned by the continuing discriminatory treatment and exclusion of the Roma, and particularly by the recent escalation in hate motivated incidents and racist rhetoric reported in a number of States.
Their alarming condition is a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly face social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc., Zed argues.