Hindus have expressed shock at Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights report on Roma (Gypsies) human rights in Slovakia.
Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg, in this report prepared after his recent visit to Slovakia, wrote: “…racist and notably anti-Roma discourse, sometimes of a distinctively aggressive nature, is still common among mainstream politicians in Slovakia. Anti-Gypsyism also often surfaces in the broadcasting and print media…many Roma children in Slovakia continue to receive education of lower quality than their non-Roma peers due to policies and practices resulting in segregation…Progress remains to be made in Slovakia in dealing with past practices and with cases of sterilisation of Roma women without their full and informed consent…disproportionate representation of Roma children among children placed in institutional care in Slovakia.”
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, strongly condemning continuing reported maltreatment of Roma in Slovakia and Europe, said that it was time for Slovakia and other countries of Europe to wake-up and do something concrete to end Roma apartheid.
Europe needed to clarify to the world where it stood on the issue of Roma and how long it would let the clearly visible Roma apartheid continue throughout almost every European locale, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked.
Hammarberg Slovakia report further said: “Generalisations and stigmatising speech targeting members of Roma communities have reportedly been resorted to by politicians across the political spectrum…newspapers being reported for instance to regularly stereotype Roma as people who refuse to work or pay rent, steal and are violent…Instances of police misconduct vis-à-vis Roma continue to be reported in Slovakia…”
Zed, however, commended Hammarberg for highlighting the Roma ordeals.