COMMEMORATION FOR THE ROMA HOLOCAUST 70TH ANNIVERSARY
SATURDAY, 2ND AUGUST, 2014 AT HRDI HEADQUARTER, NEW DELHI
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE INTERNATIONAL ( HRDI) responds to the call given by Rita Izsak (the United Nations Special Rapporteur) and Adama Dieng (the Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide for stronger measures and initiatives) to keep the memory of the Roma Holocaust alive and enable the survivors, Roma communities and others to mark it in a recognized and dignified manner.
In a meeting organized at the Headquarters of HRDI today i.e. 2nd August, 2014, Roma Rights Activists and supporters got together and remembered that Roma were targeted by the Nazi regime and were subjected to Arbitrary Internment, Forced Labour, and Mass Murder. German authorities murdered tens of thousands of Roma in the German occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Serbia and thousands more in the death camps.
Mr. Dev Bharadwaj a renowned supporter of Roma cause and an eminent Punjabi writer was of the opinion that much remains to be done to establish the right and possibility for Roma to remember and commemorate with dignity. He demanded that in several countries where evidence suggests that Roma fell victims to the Holocaust, governments should make 2nd August an official day of remembrance for the victims of the Pharrajimos.
Mr. Shyam Parandey, General Secretary ARSP and Mr. Janardhan Pathania, well know Roma scholar from Jammu-Ibndia called upon all the world’s governments and the International Community, including the United Nations, to ensure that they include reference to the suffering of Roma in their Holocaust education and commemoration events.
Mr. Ravi Iyer, Global Supporter of Roma Rights, demanded that in order to allow appropriate commemoration, Roma graves and mass graves, including those that have not yet been marked, must be identified and preserved to enable survivors to remember and mourn in dignity.
Mr. Rajesh Gogna, Advocate and Secretary General, HRDI reminded that the Violence against Roma is not only a matter of history but is a sad reality for many Roma communities today also. He condemned that the hatred and the dehumanization of the victims of the Holocaust that characterised the Nazi era, still exist in the hearts and minds of some individuals in Europe today.
The gathering resolved to call upon the Government of India to ensure that the people of India are sensitized about this tragedy and to include the reference to the suffering of Roma in their Holocaust education and commemoration events. It was further decided that the delegation of HRDI would meet with Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and would appraise him of his highly sensitive issue concerning Human Rights Concerns of Roma, who also form part of larger Indian Diaspora.
NEW DELHI, 2ND AUGUST, 2014
Rajesh Gogna, Advocate
Human Rights Defense International
New Delhi-110001 – India