Antiziganism: Reporting office: Incidents against Sinti and Roma doubled

Antiziganism: Reporting office: Incidents against Sinti and Roma doubled
Antiziganism: Reporting office: Incidents against Sinti and Roma doubled

Up to 150,000 Germans belong to the Sinti and Roma minorities. In everyday life they experience discrimination, hostility and violence. Their Central Council points to a dramatic development.

Discrimination by authorities, insults, violent attacks: the MIA antigypsyism reporting office recorded 1,233 incidents and crimes against Sinti and Roma last year – almost twice as many as the year before. In its 2023 annual report, the reporting office explains the sharp increase by saying that incidents are being reported more frequently. The Central Council of Sinti and Roma nevertheless sees a dramatic development.

“This is a matter of great concern to us given the historical background,” said Central Council Chairman Romani Rose, referring to the murder of 500,000 Sinti and Roma during the Nazi era. Politicians must exhaust all options for action. Above all, there is a “dramatic, threatening, frightening increase in violent antigypsyism.” Antigypsyism is a form of racism directed against the Sinti and Roma minority.

Swastikas at grave site

MIA recorded ten cases of “extreme violence”. There were also 40 attacks, 46 threats and 27 cases of property damage. MIA CEO Silas Kropf reported that a grave of Sinti and Roma had been defaced with swastikas. There was a case of arson in Solingen. Antigypsy slogans in football stadiums and propaganda from right-wing parties incited violence against Sinti and Roma, said Kropf.

However, the majority of the reported cases involve defamation, exclusion and discrimination. 600 cases of “verbal stereotyping” were recorded, i.e. derogatory comments in everyday life. Kropf cited as an example the sentence of a teacher when registering a Roma woman for her high school diploma: “Why are you making so much effort when you won’t be staying long anyway and will probably get married in a month?”

Police dog bites tied up Rom

Another 502 reported incidents involved discrimination, and a quarter of these were reported to authorities such as social or youth welfare offices or the police. “In 83 of the reported incidents, police officers were involved in various ways,” said Kropf. The MIA report gives the example of a father who wanted to report right-wing extremist slogans in his son’s schoolyard. At the police station, he was turned away with the words: “Shall I come and see what you might have done?”

In three cases, police officers used extreme violence, said Kropf. For example, officers in a refugee home let their police dog loose on a man who was lying on the ground and already handcuffed. The animal seriously injured the man.

It is estimated that up to 150,000 German Sinti and Roma and around a hundred thousand immigrant Roma live in Germany. The Antiziganism Federation Reporting and Information Center (MIA) was founded in 2022 and maintains several regional reporting centers. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Source: Stern

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