ALL VICTIMS OF HOLOCAUST DESERVE DIGNITY

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January 1945, closely following the liquidation of the "Zigeunerlager" ("Gypsy-Camp") on 2 August 1944, when 2,897 elderly people, women and children, all of them the remaining Sinti and Roma in the so-called "Gypsy-Camp" at Auschwitz-Birkenau, were murdered in the gas chambers there. This was the climax of the Final Solution of the Gypsy Question. The Nazis intended to exterminate the Roma completely. Those lessons from the Holocaust have not been fully transposed into the general knowledge of the people in our societies.

Civil society organizations (named below) are strongly concerned about the rooted anti-Gypsyism in Europe and its manifestation in the general lack of involvement of Roma in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - Call for stronger commitment to fighting racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination and xenophobia

Brussels, 27 January 2015: On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, civil society organisations working on anti-racism and anti-discrimination issues [1] are joining forces to raise awareness about this dark period of history and commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime against Jews, Roma, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and other groups that have been persecuted and deprived of their rights and dignity because they did not fit the Nazi ideology.

Request for Information

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Help us gather information on events commemorating of the Roma Genocide during Second World War

Later this month, on 27th January and on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the world will be celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. On that day, we will all commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its allies, of millions of Jews and Roma, and the massacre of tens of thousands that did not fit the Nazi ideology, including persons with disabilities, Jehovah's witnesses, LGBTQ people, and political opponents.

MAKING ROMA WOMEN’S VOICE AND VOTES COUNT

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Call for Applications
Position: National Roma Women Contact Point
Deadline: 9 February 2015

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), the International Roma Women's Network (IRWN) and Phenjalipe, the Informal Network of Romani Women are calling for applications from Romani women from the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Sweden to act as National Roma Women Contact Point for the project "Making Roma Women's Voices and Votes Count", implemented with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

ERTF elected its new President

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Mr Gheorghe Raducanu (Romania) was elected as the new president of the European Roma and Travellers Forum at the 2014 Plenary Assembly meeting held on 18 and 19 November held in the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg. Ms Agnes Daroczi (Hungary) was elected as a Vic-President and Ms Sebihana Skenderovska (Macedonia) elected as a Secretary of the organisation. This was the first Plenary Meeting organised after the organisational reform process and its new Statue adopted in September 2013.

The meeting brought together 60 Roma representatives of international and national organisations from over 20 Council of Europe member states. The European Parliament, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, relevant sectors of the Council of Europe and representatives of the diplomatic missions in Strasbourg attended the meeting.

ERTF complaint against Luc Jousse Mayor of Roquebrune sur Argens, France: one year of ineligibility

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Following the ERTF and the League for Human Rights complaints against him, Luc Jousse, mayor of Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Southern France, was prosecuted for "incitement to hatred or violence on the grounds of ethnicity". He was found guilty by the Criminal Court of Draguignan and was condemned to a 10.000 € fine. Luc Jousse will appeal this sentence.

The mayor held an offensive statement against the Roma community during a public meeting, leading to the complaint of two associations, including the League for Human Rights in November 2013. Luc Jousse was absent for the deliberation. His lawyer, Elodie Gigant, immediately appealed that decision. The Mayor can therefore keep his current mandate.

According to Var-Matin, the Court allocated 2.000€ for damages to the plaintiffs.

The ERTF is holding its 2014 Plenary Assembly in Strasbourg

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On 18-19 November, the ERTF will hold its 2014 Plenary Assembly in the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg.
This is the first Plenary Assembly under the new Statute, adopted in 2013, which sets out basic changes in the structure and functions of the organisation. The meeting will bring together over 60 Roma representatives of international and national organisations from several Council of Europe member states.

The European Parliament, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, relevant sectors of the Council of Europe and representatives of the diplomatic missions in Strasbourg are invited to attend the meeting.

The 2014 Plenary Assembly will elect a President and Executive Committee, and define the 2014-2016 work strategy of the ERTF to meet the challenges that the Roma Community is facing across the Council of Europe member states.

You can find the agenda here.