UN denounces French government racism


This video is called Joe Higgins MEP condemns scapegoating of Roma people by Sarkozy (09-09-10).

From AFP news agency in France:

Officials defend policy on Roma after UN cites rise in ‘racism’

France on Thursday sought to fend off sharp criticism from the UN’s anti-racism panel after members highlighted a “resurgence” in racism and xenophobia in one of Europe’s biggest nations.

French officials underlined the legal grounds for measures being taken against travelling Roma from central Europe as the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination wrapped up its hearing on France’s application of international standards.

The panel of 18 legal experts is due to issue its findings on August 27.

Roma people in France: easy target for discrimination?

On Wednesday, several of the independent experts began the hearing with unusually sharp comments about the state of racial discrimination in France.

Despite legal safeguards, the country is experiencing a “significant resurgence of racism and xenophobia”, Kokou Ewomsan, a Togolese human rights official, told the French delegation.

France’s treatment of Gipsy communities, the debate on national identity and immigration, minority rights and a hardening political discourse were all questioned.

US lawyer and former State Department official Pierre-Richard Prosper, vice chairman of the committee, pointed to a lack of “real political will”.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy last month announced draconian security measures on traveller communities following a spate of urban violence.

He has also threatened to strip foreign-born nationals of French citizenship if they committed some crimes.

One UN committee member said some of the measures on Gipsies were reminiscent of the period of France’s Vichy government, which collaborated with the German Nazi occupiers in World War II. …

Malik Salemkour of the League for Human Rights, a French pressure group, described the hearing as an unprecedented grilling for France.

The committee oversees the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which has been ratified by 173 nations.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has faced increasing criticism of his attacks on the Roma community as critics accused his government of acting like “the Gestapo”: here.

France has begun expelling the first of 700 Roma as part of a plan which has been compared to nazi tactics in World War II: here.

The raft of law-and-order measures announced in recent weeks in France highlights the far-right turn by the political establishment. Facing massive popular hostility to its policies, the conservative government of President Nicolas Sarkozy has escalated the political establishment’s promotion of racism in a bid to divide the working class while gutting democratic rights and the rule of law: here.

France continues Roma expulsions: About 140 Roma flown to Romania a day after 79 ‘voluntarily returned’ from France: here.

Germany: Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party proposed on Monday giving IQ tests to would-be immigrants. An “absurd” and “discriminatory” proposal, according to Berlin: here.

5 thoughts on “UN denounces French government racism

  1. Hindus disappointed at Sarkozy’s Roma remarks

    India Blooms News Service

    Nevada, July 23 (IBNS) US-based Hindus have reportedly expressed disappointment at French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent comments about Roma and Travellers, which they say, are disparaging to these communities.

    Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Friday, said that entire communities should not be blamed for the actions of few individuals and illegally settled evictions should not be targeted at selected ethnic communities.

    “It seemed like an attempt to demonize the already most prejudiced against communities in France and eternalizing negative stereotyping of them, he said.

    Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that French Government should urgently launch a nationwide campaign to combat discrimination against Roma and Travellers. Evictions, if carried out, should be according to European and international law and appropriate alternative accommodation should be offered.

    Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly facing apartheid conditions in Europe.

    Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc, Zed pointed out.

    http://www.indiablooms.com/NriDetailsPage/nriDetails230710a.php

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