IRU

IRU with letter and request to UN, USA, EU and other relevant international institutions: Request for urgent humanitarian aid for them Roma people in Afghanistan

In his letter and request by the International Roma Union through its delegates and signed by the President of the IRU Zoran Dimov, among other things, the text reads:

“International Romani Union - IRU is concerned about the Roma in Afghanistan, who are living in these difficult times without protection and in great fear. Roma should not fall victim to the new government in Afghanistan. The IRU calls on the UN, the US government and the EU to provide urgent humanitarian protection to the Roma population in Afghanistan.

Now all countries are taking care of their citizens and urgently evacuating them from Afghanistan in August. The IRU demands that people be released from Afghanistan even after August. The Roma do not have the state or the necessary resources to evacuate the Roma living in Afghanistan.

The Roma in Afghanistan are suffering and fearing consequences for them. They are often stateless and are not recognized by the Afghan constitution. International Romani Union - IRU therefore calls on the UN, the US and the EU to review the status of Roma in Afghanistan, who are the subject to recent political developments, to protect them and to assist in their evacuation if necessary.

The UN should protect the Roma without their own state. In war situations, many Roma have been killed - about 1.5 million in the Holocaust during World War II - and they have often lost all their property without war reparations and other compensation and left without protection. According to international estimates, the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul could become a crisis hotbed that could even lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

Unicef coordinates the distribution of Corona vaccines in the WHO’s Covax vaccine program, and Unicef has told Reuters that the number of Corona vaccinations has fallen by 80% in Afghanistan since the conquest of Kabul. Half of the vaccine doses delivered to Afghanistan are now in danger of falling due. Afghanistan is also in danger of becoming a crisis hotbed of Corona and stateless Roma will be left without vaccines. Roma also need health protection in Afghanistan.” it is said in the letter sent by the IRU and on behalf of the President of the IRU Zoran Dimov

The IRU sends a protest note to the Czech Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia

The International Romani Union – IRU following the death of the young Roma Stanislav Toma from Teplice – Czech Republic which happened on the 19th of June reacted with a protest letter to the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in North Macedonia – H.E. Miroslav Toman, from the President of the IRU Zoran Dimov. The IRU reacts that this case must be minimized and receive a different direction. The IRU reacts to the passive work of the police towards this case and that is why the IRU calls upon the Czech MIA, the Czech State Institutions, and also the European Institutions must prioritize these case and to solve it and have a thorough investigation which will be public and transparent – says the reaction from the President of the IRU sent to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Republic of North Macedonia

Brazil marks Brazilian Roma Day, video address by IRU President Zoran Dimov

Organized by the IRU, members from South America - Brazil, Elisa Costa and Michelle Christon, organized an event on May 21 via video conference to mark May 24, the day of the Brazilian Roma. This day was established in Brazil 15 years ago. This time the organizers tried to buffet made it to a higher level, and it involved senior officials from the top state of Brazil. Among others, the President of the IRU Zoran Dimov, as the main promoter of this celebration, had his return via video link. In that honor, the IRU delegates from Brazil, Elisa Costa and Michelle Christon, awarded and recognized by the IRU for the special contribution of 12 other representatives, various representatives who have been fighting for the Brazilian Roma for many years, such as the fight against Romanophobia and anti-Gypsyism, youth , misinformation, equality, justice, further education, literacy, inclusion, women, human rights, pandemic, culture, respect for the right to work, decent housing, peace negotiations, cultural heritage, music, Romani language, availability of vaccines, Roma literature and public politics, etc.

IRU Reaction

The International Roma Union - IRU is deeply disappointed and at the same time reacts most openly regarding the tragic event that took place on Saturday, June 19, 2021 in Teplice - Czech Republic. The IRU is reacting to the fact that there are attempts to minimize this case, and to have a different direction. In regards to that is the statement of the Czech Minister of Interior Mr. Jan Hamaćek who openly supports the police officers who having in mind the indications, may be directly responsible for the death of the young Roma man. What is even more devastating is the fact that they deny any responsibility and say that the cause of death was drug use by the late Roma man. Such passive attitude of the police towards this case is obvious, and that is why the IRU calls upon the Czech Ministry of Interior, the Czech state institutions, as well as the European Institutions to make this case a priority in the investigation and to have a thorough investigation that will be public and transparent.  And at the same time, the IRU will make every effort to ensure that these case and the like will not be repeated ever in the future, and to put an end to such proceedings, no matter where they occur.

The International Romani Union – IRU will mobilize its membership and partner organization and monitor the situation, and in any way, will defend the interests of the Roma community in front of every institution. This means to combat any form of brutality against Roma and their discrimination. Regards, Zoran Dimov President of the  International Romani Union – IRU

Skopje – N. Macedonia 06.23.2021

They want but fail to "tarnish" the IRU and its president Zoran Dimov

At the recent 11th Meeting of the Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma And Traveler civil society held online on 29-30 April 2021 organized by the Council of Europe, Zoran Dimov from IRU also participated.

 

But after the meeting, CCD Vrastiri accused Zoran Dimov of allegedly "homophobic speech" and allegedly sent a petition to the Council of Europe to exclude the IRU from future meetings and invitations. Normally, the IRU and Zoran Dimov reacted to this petition (which by the way was not sent as info to the IRU either) to the Council of Europe, as well as a reaction, after which the petition was immediately withdrawn from the website where it was sent.

 

The denial and the reaction of the IRU and Zoran Dimov to Europe and to the global media reads as follows:

 

Dear all,

 

With great disappointment and disbelief I received the information about the reaction from CCD Vrastiri that it is preparing a petition to the Council of Europe on the occasion of what is stated "Homophobic statements of Mr. Zoran Dimov - President of the International Roma Union at the 11th dialogue with Roma and civil society of passengers "I feel a moral responsibility in the name of the IRU as its President and also as an individual - a Roma man to react and respond to the accusations by CCD Vrastiri which in my opinion are malicious and insinuating.

 

In this way, first a discrediting of the oldest international Roma organization is made, which is representative, and at the same time discrediting and slandering me and my personality, presenting me as homophobic. The fact is that I was part of the 11th dialogue with the Roma and the civil society of the passengers "and I had my own speech where, among other things, the Roma LGBT community was discussed. I hope that the whole event has its own audio and video version as well as a transcript of the conversation and it is very good to check all the details and parts of my speech.

 

I spoke Romani, but I could not say how faithfully it was translated and adapted in the translation of my speech, but I most responsibly claim that at no point in my speech did I express a homophobic attitude.

 

In my speech I mentioned several times (let the recordings be checked) that the IRU has never had anything against the LGBT community and at least against the Roma LGBT community. My intention during my speech was that it is much better for the LGBT Roma community not to be part of the plans, projects, platforms and strategies that are being prepared for the Roma community, but not to be doubly discriminated against and to be included (as a separate part) in the plans, projects, platforms and strategies of the general LGBT community, prepared by the European institutions.

 

This is emphasized from the aspect that the IRU is well acquainted with the conservative and patriarchal dress code of some Roma communities in some regions and countries. That is why that part was emphasized, and not understood as CCD Vrastiri says in its petition "homophobic attitude" of the IRU and my speech.

 

I will mention and emphasize once again that neither the IRU nor I as its president nor as a Roma have homophobic views. I claim that and it is not a problem for me if I am misunderstood or presented to publicly apologize on my own behalf and on behalf of the IRU to the entire LGBT community, including the Roma LGBT community.

 

But I sincerely believe that this is still an attempt to denigrate and discredit both the IRU and me personally. I support this with the fact that the petition letter by CCD Vrastiri mentions several other facts that do not correspond to the truth at all and are only flat and untrue and in the direction of discrediting both the IRU and me personally. It is mentioned in one part that: "Apart from public appearances by men who hold high titles such as 'president', 'commissioner', etc., we do not see public participation of Roma women and young people in this organization.

 

"This is proof that all these 'arguments' of the CCD Vrastiri are just 'low blows' and 'defocus' and flat accusations. The IRU is above all an open and transparent international organization. For the sake of truth, both the X (2016) and the XI Congress of the IRU (2020) in the IRU have affirmed the policy of greater representation of Roma women in leadership positions in the IRU, and equality (gender balance) in membership and functions in the IRU. In that attachment, I am submitting the IRU Brochure to you and to see for yourself whether there is no Roma woman in prominent and important positions in the IRU and whether there are no young Roma in positions with their activities.

 

But if the intention of CCD Vrastiri and the like is completely different, then we as the IRU will demand a public apology from the initiators of this petition and at the same time we will take over all legal instruments through the judicial institutions. - reads the denial of Zoran Dimov, President of the IRU

Read more ...

The IRU Delegate from Japan, Yusuke SUMI introduced the Japanese with the Roma and their history, culture, language and tradition

In 4th of June 2021 Yusuke SUMI who studied under prof. Gheorghe Sarau in Romania gave a lecture on the Romany language and Culture at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan.

His speech was entitled „The Romany Language – The Wanderers’ traces”. The presentation was held online because of the state of emergency and around 80 students and professors invited by the Multilingual Communication Center attended.

He taught basic things about the history of Roma showing the short video made at the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the IRU. After that, he talked about the culture and the language of the Roma.

Here are some comments from the attendants gathered after the speech. As you can see, we realize that Japanese students don’t really know about the Roma:

“I thought that the Roma live all together in a country. It was surprising that they don’t have a common religion or customs.”

“It is impressive that they have the official name, flag and anthem, but they live in different countries.”

“It was the first time to hear about the Romany language. I didn’t know that the Roma people had been killed the most after the Jews in WWII.”

“I heard ‘Gypsies’ but ‘Roma’ never. Hearing ‘Roma’ for the first time, I thought that they are people living near Rome in Italy.”

“I really liked the speech of the President of the IRU in the movie ‘the IRU is one family’.”

However, it was a good occasion for young Japanese people to take an interest in the history and the culture of the Roma.

The Multilingual Communication Center of Kanda University of International Studies is now planning to organize the Romany language course, inviting Yusuke SUMI as a lecturer in the future.

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