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Rights group urges EU to address Roma discrimination

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released a report [text, PDF] Tuesday detailing the chronic prevalence of hate crimes and discrimination perpetrated against the Roma diaspora in Europe. The "briefing," released on International Roma Day, urges European leaders to "commit, visibly and wholeheartedly, to eradicating the scourge of anti-Roma violence." The report depicts the plight of Roma in the Czech Republic, France and Greece, hoping to illustrate AI's concern about anti-Roma sentiment across all of Europe. Personal stories describing confrontations between far-right extremists and Roma communities range from altercations at neighborhood playgrounds and anti-Roma marches through Roma housing estates to terrorizing and destroying Roma settlements accompanied by brutal beatings of Roma migrants. AI asserts that, not only are state authorities failing to fully recognize the racist-driven hostilities but that local police, rather than protecting Roma, participate in and fuel the violence and discrimination through raids, arbitrary detention and inaction.

International rights groups have consistently campaigned for improved human rights for the Roma people living in Europe, now at a population of 10-12 million. Notably, in April 2013, AI issued [JURIST report] a press release similar to Tuesday's report urging the EU to end discrimination against Roma communities throughout Europe. That same month, a UN rights expert called [JURIST report] for EU member states to do more to ensure basic human rights for the Roma people in Europe recalling [press release] that the UN Human Rights Council [official website] "made nearly 250 recommendations to almost 30 countries concerning the situation of Roma communities." Specifically, various rights groups along with several European courts and commissions have individually and persistently chastised [JURIST news archive] countries such as Hungary, Italy, Moldova and France for their discriminatory and often violent treatment of their Roma populations.

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