Strasbourg, 23 July 2013: On 22 July, in an exchange with a group of Travellers, Gilles Bourdouleix, Deputy Mayor of the City of Cholet, made horrifying statements which referred to the ideology of Hitler and the atrocities carried by the Nazi regime against Roma nearly 70 years ago.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) strongly condemns any racist remarks and hate speech being used to gain electoral support and demands that the French legal authorities take action against Gilles Bourdouleix for his anti-Roma remarks.
In an official letter sent to the Public Prosecutor of Angers on 23 July 2013, Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of ERTF, complains at the comments made by the Deputy Mayer Gilles Bourdouleix as being racist and discriminatory and which breach the Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881. Moreover, public endorsement of crimes against humanity must be immediately sanctioned.
"Since the last two weeks we are witnessing the top of the iceberg of the hate against the Roma and the Traveller Community. It is sad to see what is happening in the country which previously was a leader in defending Human Rights in Europe. I feel obliged, in the name of my community, to inform the French legal authorities and demand that urgent action against such people who are breaching the law be taken, said Mr Rudko Kawczynski.