jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2011


Sixty-five years after many fascist leaders were sentenced to execution or prison, Estonia is in the spotlight for neo-Nazi activity acting as a shelter for several convicted war criminals. ­With SS marches regularly held throughout the state, many fear the country is increasingly embracing one of history’s darkest chapters. One of the marchers – Mikhail Gorshkov – is ranked eighth on Simon Weisenthal’s list of most wanted Nazi war criminals. “He directly participated in a murder of 3,000 Jews in Belarus in 1940s. Documents proving it were provided to the Estonian authorities,” says the chairman of anti-fascist committee of Estonia, Andrey Zarenkov.

Estonia’s anti-fascist committee says the proof of Gorshkov’s atrocities in a Belarusian concentration camp is solid and undoubted. But instead of seeing off his days from behind bars, he now lives the life of a free man in this Baltic state. “Gorshkov was deported from the US and stripped of US citizenship. That says a lot, doesn’t it? Tallinn gave him shelter and tried to hide him here, but then under international pressure the authorities had to initiate an investigation,” Zarenkov reveals. However, the probe yielded no results. After months of investigation, Estonian authorities closed the case.

The advisor of the Office of Estonian Prosecutor General Carol Merzin said that “A well-grounded doubt remains that the Gorshkov mentioned in the materials is not the Mikhail Gorshkov who is at present a citizen of the Republic of Estonia. The case will be closed, as it has been impossible for the investigative team to to find any additional evidence.” The decision raised eyebrows in Israel – at first. But then Simon Wiesenthal’s center recalled which country they were dealing with. “I called Washington, spoke the people who handled his prosecution case whether they had any doubt about [Mikhail Gorshkov’s] identity. And they said no, none whatsoever,” insists Efraim Zurov from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “This doesn’t surprise me personally, because for the last 15 years I’ve been dealing with the Estonians. The Estonians have totally failed in terms of prosecuting Nazi war criminals. It seems there’s no will in Tallinn to bring these people to justice.”

And the Gorshkov story is not a one-off case. From sanctioning SS veterans’ marches to glorifying former Nazi collaborators – this has been Tallinn’s policy for the past decade. Recently, one man made just about every headline in Estonia. Almost on a scale of a national holiday, in October the country marked the 90th birthday of Harald Nugiseks, the only remaining holder of the Iron Cross, one of the highest awards in Nazi Germany. The Nuremberg Tribunal sentenced the Nazi leadership to either executions or prison terms 65 years ago. This trial of history was meant to get rid of Nazism for good. But the SS marches in Baltic states, and other cases of rehabilitation of fascism nowadays, suggest that history lessons have not been fully learned.

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2011


Anti-racist campaigners are working to ensure that next summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine does not become the next flashpoint after the recent series of events involving players, supporters and administrators. On Friday, Uefa fined the Bulgarian FA €40,000 (£34,000) for the latest instance of racist abuse suffered by England players in eastern Europe, following similar occurrences against Croatia, Slovakia and Serbia. Earlier this year a report highlighted 195 cases of football-related incidents of racism and discrimination in the two host countries for Euro 2012 during an 18-month period It said: "In Ukraine we urge extreme vigilance by the authorities towards the presence of far-right groups, who we believe will be active and visible during the Euros next year. We are pleased to be working with the local organising committees in both countries through the Uefa social responsibility programme for 2012."

The London-based group Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) co-ordinated a series of events in the two countries last month aimed at raising awareness. It included training at the National Stadium in Warsaw for stewards in recognising racist and fascist symbols of Polish extreme right-wing movements, who have often used footballas a recruiting ground. Anti-semitism has also been a problem in Poland,and Legia Warsaw were fined €10,000 (£8,540) by Uefa last week after an offensive banner was displayed attheir Europa League game against Hapoel Tel Aviv. According to Fare, there have also been instances of racism in the past at Lviv, one of the four Ukranian 2012 venues and a specially arrangedmulti-racial game were held there and in Warsaw last month.

jueves, 17 de noviembre de 2011

Germany shocked by secret service link to rightwing terror cell

Undercover officer was at scene of Turk's murder as rightwingers killed 10 times but stayed free for 13 years.

An agent working for Germany's answer to MI5 was at the scene of one of the 10 murders carried out by neo-Nazi terrorists, the domestic intelligence agency has confirmed, fuelling speculation that the killers' movements were known to the authorities during their 13 years on the run.

The undercover officer was in an internet cafe in the central city of Kassel in Hessen when a 21-year-old Turk was shot at point blank range on 6 April 2006, a spokesman for the Hessen branch of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said on Tuesday.

The admission has added yet more controversy to an already contentious case, which the chancellor, Angela Merkel, has described as "mortifying" for Germany.

The investigation into the activities of the so-called National Socialist Underground was broadened on Tuesday to take in previously unsolved crimes across the country, amid fears that a network of supporters may have helped them carry out further attacks.

These include suspected terror attacks in Cologne and Düsseldorf from 2000 to 2004 that injured more than 30 people, most of them foreigners, and the attempted 2008 murder of a Bavarian police chief who was stabbed by a masked assailant who yelled: "Greetings from the national resistance!".

Critics say German authorities have played down the existence of rightwing extremism, concentrating instead on the threats posed by leftwing terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists. Whether they deliberately turned a blind eye or genuinely did not have a handle on the violence being wrought by neo-Nazis is open to interpretation.

Authorities in the state of Thuringia, where the three key members of the terror cell all come from, admit they have 24 ringbinders full of intelligence on the trio.

"The intelligence service has completely failed," said Hans-Christian Ströbele, a member of the parliamentary committee which monitors Germany's secret service agencies, following an emergency meeting on Tuesday. "It's probably the biggest secret service cock-up since German reunification," said the Berliner Zeitung newspaper in an editorial.

The scandal has gripped Germany for days as the country struggles to understand how the rightwing terror cell managed to evade capture for so long despite being apparently responsible for 10 murders, including the death of a policewoman, at least 14 bank robberies and two vicious nail bomb attacks between 2000 and 2007. The group has been dubbed the Brown Army Faction, a reference to the Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader Meinhof gang, a leftwing terrorist group that committed a series of murders in the 1970s and 80s. In Germany, brown remains a colour inextricably linked with the Nazi uniform.

The case came to light earlier this month when two known neo-Nazis, Uwe Mundlos, 38, and Uwe Böhnhardt, 34, were found shot dead in a burnt out campervan in what appeared to be a twin suicide pact. Hours later, their flat in the quiet suburbs of the east German town of Zwickau was blown up, an explosion detonated by alleged accomplice Beate Zschäpe, 36, who turned herself into police days later.

When investigators searched the charred remains of the van and the house, they found a number of highly incriminating pieces of evidence, including the gun carried by Michele Kiesewetter, the 22-year-old police officer believed to have been shot dead in Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg in 2007. They also discovered a bizarre Pink Panther-inspired homemade DVD gloating that the National Socialist Underground was responsible for a series of unsolved murders known as the Döner Killings, which targeted mostly Turkish immigrants in Germany, some of whom worked in fast food stalls, between 2000 and 2006.

Until now, German detectives have suggested that foreign gangs, probably from Turkey, were responsible for the murders: their investigation was even codenamed Operation Bosphorus.

Relatives of the victims say the reputations of the dead men were besmirched by investigators. Kerim Simsek, whose father Enver was shot down on 9 September 2000, claimed police said his father "was mixed up with the mafia and smuggled drugs – no one even mentioned a rightwing extremist motive," he told Bild.

Ströbele said Germany's elite had totally underestimated the threat of rightwing terrorism. "They have been determined to play it down. Just a few weeks ago, Hans-Peter Friedrich, the interior minister, was saying there was no rightwing terrorism in Germany," he said. "They are always very quick to jump to conclusions if they think leftwing terrorists or Islamist fundamentalists are responsible for a crime and yet they didn't want to believe there could be a serious problem with neo-Nazis."

Ströbele said that 160 officers worked on Operation Bosphorus, investigating 11,000 people "Why didn't they follow the trail to rightwing radicals?" he said, as he called for a thorough investigation to discover how the terror cell managed to evade capture. More information was needed to establish how and why the secret service agent was in the Kassel internet cafe when the shots were fired in 2006, he said. Until now, the agent has insisted it was an unhappy coincidence he was at the crime scene "either during the murder or within a minute or two of it", said Ströbele.

The agent was arrested after other witnesses noticed he was the only customer who failed to call the police. After being questioned as a suspect, he confessed his identity and no charges were brought. A spokesman for Hessen's BfV said he was subsequently moved out of intelligence work and into a less sensitive department of Hessen's regional council.

The national BfV continues to deny any contact with the three suspects or any knowledge of their whereabouts since 1998, when a warrant was issued for their arrest following the discovery of a bomb-making factory in a garage rented by Zschäpe. The Hessen branch said it had found no evidence that its agents were in contact with Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe.

Germans try to make sense of scandalGermany has been gripped by the scandal unfolding around the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground. But so much of what has emerged so far does not quite make sense. Here are some questions ordinary Germans would like answering:

1. Why did Beate Zschäpe decide to turn herself in to the police? Is she hoping to turn supergrass and give state's evidence in return for a shorter sentence?

2. Did Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt really kill themselves? One man was shot in the head; another in the chest (the latter is an unusual form of suicide). Could Zschäpe have murdered them both? Did they set fire to their campervan before killing themselves or did someone else light the match afterwards?

3. Why did the two men burn the money they had apparently stolen from a Zwickauer bank that day rather than give it to Zschäpe?

4. How did the Pink Panther confession DVDs survive flames in the trio's Zwickau flat despite temperatures being so hot that investigators say they found melted guns?

5. How did the National Socialist Underground choose their victims? Were they all chosen at random?

6. Can the group be linked to any other unsolved crimes?

7. Did the authorities have any contact with the group during their 13 years on the run?

8. Why did investigators looking into the nine so-called Doner Killings blame foreign mafia rather than properly investigating rightwing hatred as a motive, considering that all the victims were immigrants?


An article written by the neo-Nazi on trial lashes out at "uncontrolled sexual liberation, legitimacy of civil partnerships, promotion of the mentally ill and degenerate queers and dykes."

Jose Antonio G, Secretary General of far-right political party European Nation State (Estado Nacional Europeo or ENE) formed in Barcelona, accused of disseminating Nazi ideology through his magazine, on Tuesday claimed the right to free expression. The accused defended his views and denied to the court that he was a racist, despite admitting his “hate for Muslims because they are the enemy”. The case against José Antonio G, and two other suspected members of the said publication’s editorial board, began in Barcelona’s Penal Court No.7 on Tuesday. The three group members behind the magazine, known as “Intemperie”, face possible prison sentences of four and a half years if found guilty of publishing articles which trivialize and deny the Holocaust and include offensive remarks about the Jews. In defence of one of the published articles, which lashes out at "uncontrolled sexual liberation, the legitimacy of civil partnerships, promotion of the mentally ill and degenerate queers and dykes of the cool type," the neo-Nazi leader claimed it was “an opinion just like so many others which are put forth.”

Illegalization of ENE
In addition to the requested prison terms, the Public Attorney for Hate Crimes and Discrimination, Miguel Ángel Aguilar, requested that the Spanish Home Secretary begin proceedings for the illegalization of ultra right-wing party ENE, as well as for the closure of their website.

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2011

Right-wing extremism an 'infection' that must not be ignored, says activist

The head of a Berlin-based foundation that supports programs against right-wing extremism talks to DW about a new form of far-right terror in Germany, and urges the state to do its job and protect people.

Since 1998, the Berlin-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation has supported civil society programs aimed at fighting right-wing extremism and xenophobia. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, the foundation's head, Anetta Kahane, shares her assessment of the far right's activities in Germany and calls for political action.

DW: Politicians in Germany have now started to talk about a new form of right-wing extremism in light of what's become known about the National Socialist Underground group. Opposition leaders claim the fight against right-wing extremism has been neglected in Germany for decades. Do you share this opinion?

Anetta Kahane: That's right, because this is not a very new situation. These people have been murdering for 10 years, and the question is whether the state did enough to protect the victims. I do not think they did enough; they have to be much more professional in persecuting right-wing extremists.

Apparently, cooperation between local police and intelligence people across the country hasn't been good enough, to say the least. Is this a structural or a political problem?

It's a structural problem. Right-wing extremism has always been ignored if it takes place in East Germany, as if we, in the whole Federal Republic, didn't have to care about what is going on in East Germany.But it has always been our view that if you ignore it in one place, it can happen in other places, too - it's like an infection. And this was the case in Thuringia: the secret service and the police didn't have a professional distance from the neo-Nazi groups and this has been obvious to us for a long time.

Do you view the National Socialist Underground group as only the tip of the iceberg, with many more such ultra-violent groups on the rise in the country?

I don't know - but there are a lot of violent groups and they are ready to kill. If they want to do it, they take their weapons - because they all have weapons - and they will kill people.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government now stands accused of slashing the budget to fight right-wing extremism. Would increased financial resources be an appropriate way to prevent further activities by dangerous far-right groups, or does it take more to get on top of the problem? What exactly is needed?

This case is a police case. This is not for civil society to resolve. And the police and secret service have to be able to protect the people from this; it is their job, and they have to do their job.On the other hand, of course it's also important to create new projects and establish the old ones to fight right-wing extremism. If people had known more about neo-Nazis and right-wing extremism, they might have been suspicious - but this is the problem: in many of these towns and cities, people don't care, and sometimes, they also agree.

It hasn't really come as a big surprise to see policymakers and organizations across Germany renewing calls to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). Would such a move have a tangible effect at all?

No. I think these militant and criminal murders have nothing to do with the NPD. You can forbid and ban - this is stupid because everyone involved with neo-Nazi issues knows that in these kinds of cases, a ban has no effect. On the contrary, I think there would be much more illegal activity without the NPD party.

National Socialist Underground: Far-Right Terror Group Shocks Germany

Germany's domestic intelligence agency was put on the defensive Monday, amid questions of how a neo-Nazi group that it had been aware of in 1998 could have slipped from its radar and carried out a series of bank robberies and at least 10 murders.

The activities of far-right extremists in Germany have produced a thick chapter in the annual report of the nation's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution since the 1960s.

Yet despite all the details on membership, crimes committed, structure and even fashion sense of such groups, the authorities were scrambling for information on the Zwickau-based trio calling itself the Nationalist Socialist Underground. Federal prosecutors are now calling it a domestic terror organization suspected of murdering eight Turks and one Greek from 2000 to 2006 and fatally shooting a policewoman in 2007.

In a statement issued Monday, the office insisted that it had no information regarding the whereabouts of the three members – two of whom are now dead in apparent suicides – since last tracking them in 1998.

The third, identified as 36-year-old Beate Z., was formally arrested late Sunday on charges of co-founding and belonging to a terror organization. She is further alleged to have set fire to a house used by the group in an effort to destroy evidence, but has refused to speak with police since turning herself in last week.

Police have been sifting through the remains of that home in the eastern city of Zwickau, near the Czech border, that she is believed to have torched on Nov. 4. That was the same day that the two other suspects Uwe B. and Uwe M. were found dead in a mobile home in the eastern German city of Eisenach, 110 miles (175 kilometers) west of Zwickau.

In the mobile home, investigators also found the service weapons of the two police officers attacked by the group in 2007, when a 22-year-old policewoman was fatally shot in the head and a fellow officer was seriously wounded.

A fourth suspect belonging to the group, identified as Holger G., 37, was brought before a judge Monday and ordered detained. He is believed to have supported the group, including helping to facilitate the 2007 attack in the western city of Heilbronn that killed a policewoman and seriously injured another.

Many Germans are asking themselves how the group, which allegedly included far-right extremists who were known to authorities, could have succeeded in carrying out crimes undetected for so many years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called it "a shame for Germany" and vowed at a party conference in Leipzig to "do everything possible" to clarify the case, "to bring justice to the people."

The widening case has sparked a fierce debate over the government's ability to protect the millions of immigrants who call Germany home, even as it seeks to attract more skilled workers from abroad.

"I find it shocking that our country was not capable of protecting 10 innocent people from a band of far-right terrorists," said Thomas Oppermann, a senior lawmaker with the opposition Social Democrats. He noted that Merkel's government has slashed the budget to fight far-right extremism in recent years.

Authorities in the western state of North-Rhine-Westphalia also said they believed the group could be responsible for an attack on a 19-year-old Iranian-German in Cologne. The young woman survived with injuries and the case was never resolved, state authorities said.

Ralf Jaeger, interior minister for North-Rhine-Westphalia, said analysis of a DVD believed to have been complied by the group led authorities to link that January 2001 attack to the extremist.

"We are now going back over all unsolved crimes for which we previously had no motive, to determine whether they might have been caused by a far-right motive, based on tips from the DVD," Jaeger said, according to the news agency dapd.

Still shots of the video published in Der Spiegel on Monday showed a cartoon stoplight with the acronym "NSU" next to a faked advertisement reading "Today kebab action" – a possible reference to many of the victims' Turkish origins. Another still depicted an image of a proud Pink Panther next to a placard with "Germany Tour, 9th Turk Shot" blazed over a map of Germany and a photo of a dark-haired main. Yet another image showed a slain victim.

jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2011

Kristallnacht: Anniversary stirs 'night of broken glass' memories

It was on last night, 73 years ago, that Nazis staged the first government-sanctioned attacks on Jewish people in Germany.

Rioters destroyed 267 synagogues, vandalized 7,500 businesses and killed at least 91 people during the Nov. 9-10 riots that, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, "sparked the Holocaust."

But Memphian Jack Cohen, a Holocaust survivor who was 6 years old at the time, wouldn't feel the heat from Kristallnacht, known as the "night of broken glass," for another five years.

It wasn't until 1943 that his family, who relocated to Memphis 55 years ago, was forced into hiding following the German invasion of Greece, his home country. Yet the far-reaching implications of this historic day bring Cohen to the synagogue every year, said his daughter, Sarah Beth.

"You cannot hold a grudge for the rest of your life," Cohen always tells his audience when he speaks of his experience as an adolescent in exile. "On the other hand, you cannot forget."

The Hillel group at the University of Memphis observed the anniversary of Kristallnacht earlier this week, rededicating their memorial garden Sunday night in a candlelight ceremony.

Members from the local chapter of Zeta Beta Tau, a Jewish-affiliated fraternity, worked to revamp the butterfly garden outside of the Morris S. Fogelman Jewish Student Center at Hillel of Memphis, doubling its size and placing a new focal point in the center.

The new focus, once a student-made butterfly mosaic, is now one of the 100 painted fiberglass Tigers that pepper the campus. Hillel's tiger is aubergine with yellow butterflies. The piece wasn't created with the Hillel students or garden in mind, but artist Lizi Beard-Ward, who attended Sunday's ceremony, said her artwork had found a fitting home.

"This is great place for her to land," said Beard-Ward, who painted eight tigers in all. "With this one, I wanted to do something that showed the strength of the tiger, as well as her gentler side -- something that showed her spirit."

Hillel president Zachary Roberts gave the tiger her Hebrew name, "Nimorah Hashamorah," meaning guardian tiger.

Roberts said he felt it was important that Hillel recognize the anniversary of Kristallnacht because "it's not something we think of often."

The lesson Cohen hopes to drive home when he talks about the Holocaust, he says, is one of acceptance.

"You hear a lot about 'tolerance,' but just tolerating one another isn't enough," he said. "You need to learn acceptance."

Because Jews in Greece in the 1940s were still considered "Greek" no matter their religion, members of the Greek Orthodox church helped many of their fellow countrymen, including Cohen's family, survive.

"Without that acceptance," Sarah Beth said plainly, "I wouldn't have a daddy."


Norwegian special police tactics managed to discourage several people from continuing as neo-Nazis.

Officers at police stations, particularly at Manglerud in Oslo, exercised special techniques they had developed, calling youths in for conversations about their views. Approximately 200 of these preventative discussions, often including parents and perhaps a child welfare services representative, were conducted in a narrow room with six chairs and an oval table. Police also had regular contact with the parents to ensure things were kept in check. “The discussion [method] arose because of a challenge we faced with a Right-Extremist environment that used violence, threats, and other types of crime in the mid-90s in Oslo’s Nordstrandsplatået area,” Police Superintendent Bjørn Øvrum, who headed the operation, tells NRK. According to the broadcaster, a new Master’s thesis written by a former neo-Nazi student at the University of Stavanger now for the first time documents police methods used on eight people in the ‘90s, with a 100 percent success rate.

Describing how police-parent cooperation worked, the now 36-year old, former leader of the Haugesund-based group named Einzats, writes, “it was extremely annoying. Every time there was a concert, demo, or a real party (...) my mother and father came and said they had already made other plans [for us]. It was inescapable. Now I understand why.” The student also alleges officers never called him in for a discussion, but says contact with two people whilst in jail was one decisive reason for rejecting extremism. “They [a cook and a warder] made huge efforts to meet me halfway, confront my attitudes, and treat me with respect, whilst at the same time questioning what I stood for.”


Whilst police methods were successful then, Right-Wing extremism is now on the rise in Norway following Anders Behring Breivik's twin massacres. Kari Helene Partapuoli, head of NGO the Norwegian Centre against Racism, told The Foreigner recently that, "People who used to be active are now inspired. The organisations are hell-bent on surviving. Some people say ‘we hate what he [Breivik]did, but he’s not going to ruin it for us’, using arguments about freedom of speech.” The mass murderer sent his manifesto just before his attacks to several people, including 250 British contacts. Amongst these were members of the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP), whose Facebook supporters freely express their attitudes on their profiles. The EDL subsequently denied any contact with the mass murderer, but Norwegian police questioned the movement's blogger Paul Ray on several occasions to establish any possible connections. Moreover, in what was believed to be an unconnected raid, officers from Nordre Buskerud Police District arrested a neo-Nazi just over one month later following a tip-off. Explosives, a police uniform, and illegal weapons were found.

Outside Norway, a new study by British think tank Demos, called “The New Face of Digital Populism”, concludes that Right-Wing extremism is also increasing. Jamie Bartlett, one of the report's authors and Head of the Violence and Extremism Programme at Demos, comments, "Populist parties and movements are now a force to be reckoned with in many Western European countries. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their ‘anti-establishment’ views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organise." The Guardian interviewed Dutch MEP Emine Bozkurt who leads the European Parliament’s anti-racism lobby. She warns that, “We're at a crossroads in European history." “In five years' time we will either see an increase in the forces of hatred and division in society, including ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, or we will be able to fight this horrific tendency."

martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011


We received worrisome news from the Roma of Hristo Botev, a neighborhood in Sofia that experienced neo-Nazi terror last month. On November 1, the day commemorating the leaders of the Bulgarian National revival, a group of neo-Nazis committed the following crime.

The Assault: On 1.11.2011 /Tuesday/, around 8 o’clock in the evening the 27-years-old Angel Nikolov, a student at the High Evangelical Institute of Theology, was going home after service at a church in the Hristo Botev neighborhood. He was riding the 79 bus together with Donka, around 40 years old. The two were headed toward the Filipovtsi neighborhood. One stop before the “Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, known location of past assaults, a dozen young men in skinhead “uniform” for on the bus: black jackets, army boots, shaved heads. At this point Donka and Angel were sitting three seats behind the driver, Donka occupying the window seat. They are the only Roma on the bus, carrying other passengers as well. Upon entering, the neo-Nazis notice Donka and Angel, and after a “Let’s get the ball rolling!” they jump on the two passengers, hitting them with fists and kicking them with their boots while hanging off the top handlebars of the bus. Angel tries to protect Donka with his body, receiving multiple trauma and injuries in result.

The Witnesses: The bus driver makes no effort to contact the police patrol on duty in the area. On the contrary, he opens the bus doors at the traffic light before the next stop, thus allowing the Nazis to leave undisturbed. Not a single person on the bus intervenes to prevent the assault or express resentment.

The Consequences: Currently Angel is in intensive care suffering concussion of the brain, hematomas of the head, and obstructed breathing due to serious contusion of the chest. His condition is highly critical because Angel has epilepsy.

The Questions: This crime is an alarming piece if news for many reasons. Daily, people from the Romani community in Bulgaria become victims of scum bands of neo-Nazis, while the media habitually ignores the assaults.

The Call: We address the media in the hope to voice the problem with yet another instance of racist assault. Besides using violence, the neo-Nazis get away with it, benefiting from the apparent social indifference to their crimes. Presently, the assailants are free. Possibly, the very moment you are reading this they are looking for their next victim. In this and preceding such instances it’s the Roma but victims of neo-Nazi hate are also Muslims, people from other religious and sexual minorities, or Bulgarians with the “wrong” hairdo. Do we know whom they will aim for tomorrow? We cannot keep living with a false sense of security - tomorrow, the victim of assault will be our sister, mother, brother, or friend!

Civil initiative “People against Racism” calls on the authorities to take measures for the arrest and charge of the assailants. Let us not be silent. We call on the media to spread the news. We call on citizens to open their eyes. Let’s say NO to racist terror and violence!

jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2011


Police are investigating a racist motive for an attack in Rasharkin and a homophobic motive for a separate incident in Dunloy. Some time between 7pm on Tuesday October 25 and 6am on Wednesday October 26 a black Skoda car parked at Bridge Street, Rasharkin, had a rear window smashed. A white-coloured ‘Panther’ female’s bicycle was also stolen during the same incident which happened at the home of an eastern European. A police spokesman said they are treating the Rasharkin incident as a racially-motivated hate crime. And police said they are treating an incident at Braeside Park, Dunloy, on Friday October 28 as a homophobic-motivated hate crime. Around 9.30pm minor damage was caused to the door of a house and police want to hear from anyone who saw people in the vicinity of Braeside Park between 9.30pm and 9.45pm. A man who was in the house at the time was not injured but was “distressed”, according to police. A PSNI spokesperson said: “Hate crimes are crimes committed against people on the basis of their perceived race, disability, political opinion, faith, sexual orientation or gender identity and police in Ballymoney take all reports of these crimes very seriously. “If you have been victimised, don’t allow the aggressor to get away with their crime. Do something for your own sake and for the sake of your community. Reporting hate crime is one way of ensuring that further incidents are prevented and offenders are brought to justice. Contact the local police station and ask to speak to your local Hate Crime and Minority Liaison Officer who will begin an investigation. There is also a facility on the police website where hate crimes can be reported online. Abuse in whatever form should not have to be tolerated.”