Friday, January 27, 2006

The Roma People of Europe, Also Called Gypsies

"I feel a kinship with the Roma people," said Indira Ghandi on Oct. 29, 1983 during the second International Romani Festival in Chandigarh, India.

"Do not call us Gypsies. We are the Roma people! Thousands of us lost their lives during the World War II Holocaust, but we were not recompensed! We are treated as second-class citizens in most of Europe's countries and are constantly battling discrimination," said Janos, a Roma, during a conversation in a Vienna restaurant. "Our people have been persecuted for centuries. Our people were held as slaves between 1385 and 1865, when slavery was abolished. We were imprisoned in Spain in the 1700s, suffered during Europe's witch hunt, and the genocide of our people is forgotten history."

On Dec. 13, 2005, the European Court of Human Rights found the Greek government guilty of "inhuman and degrading treatment of two Romani man at the hands of Greek police … The Court awarded each 10,000 Euros for non-pecuniary damages." Full Story

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