Anti-Romani hate speech contributes to intolerance toward Roma
On 15 February 2007, the ERRC sent a letter of concern to Mr Boris Sorkin, Managing Director of the Russian Information Agency "REGNUM", expressing concern at the regular linkage of Roma with crime in the agency's reports and noting that such media reports contribute to a climate of intolerance of Roma. The letter referred to numerous articles published in the newspaper collected by the ERRC during 2006 and 2007, which explicitly link Roma with drug dealing and criminality. In its letter, which was copied to the Director of the Central Regional Administration of Rosohrancultura, the ERRC urged the information agency to take a firm stand against hate speech and to refrain from publishing inflammatory anti-Romani language. The full text of the letter is available on the ERRC Internet website at http://www.errc. org/cikk. php?cikk= 2722 .
The letter is a result of ongoing ERRC work in the Russian Federation to combat hate speech against Roma. Since 2006, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supported ERRC work in the Russian Federation.
Persons wishing to express similar concerns are urged to contact:
Mr Boris Sorkin Managing Director, Information Agency "REGNUM" Pravdi 21 stroenie 1, Moscow 125040, Russia Fax: +7 495 2594639
Mr Alexander Haev Director, Central Regional Administration of Rosohrancultura Malaya Nikitskaya str. 12, Moscow 630091, Russia Fax: + 7 495 2904573
The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at http://www.errc. org European Roma Rights Centre 1386 Budapest 62 P.O. Box 906/93 Hungary Tel: +36.1.413.2200 Fax: +36.1.413.2201