The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) expresses its deep concern over the most recent case of violence against Roma in France. On 13th of June in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb, Darius, a 16-year-old Romanian- born Roma, was dragged away from the camp where he was living with his family, by local teenagers who accused him of breaking into an apartment to steal. He was beaten, dumped in a supermarket trolley and left for dead on the side of the road. The youngster is still in the hospital in a coma, fighting for his life. His family and camp-fellows have disappeared within hours of the attack, abandoning their encampment for fear of retaliations after what happened to Darius.
The incident in France is not an isolated case. We can observe increasing anti-Roma sentiments and anti-Gypsyism as well as persistent patterns of violent attacks and actions against this minority. Examples are numerous. Scapegoating Roma for all the ills of society can also trigger anti-Roma feelings. For example, in June 2014, flash floods in Bulgaria have killed at least 14 people. Though the worst hit was the Roma neighbourhood, leading broadcasters have reported that the Roma community should bear the blame for what happened. Questions such as illegal housing and precarious living conditions were raised by the media, intentionally avoiding in this way the problems that these communities have been dealing with over the past years.
The rise of racist violence against Roma across Europe is deeply worrying. Media reports and the latest European elections’ results reflect the rising trends in anti-Roma sentiment, racism, xenophobia and far-right extremism in the EU. ERIO is extremely concerned with the anti-Roma public discourse in the EU member states, which also significantly contributes to violence against these communities.
Source (English language): http://www.erionet.eu/doc-statement_violence-roma-boy-france_270614