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Special Report

NEWS - Archive for November 1999

November 1999 Headlines

Headlines November 29, 1999

POLITICAL CANDIDATE CONVICTED FOR RACISM (Denmark)

HUNGARY STRAINED BY ASYLUM SEEKERS

WORKER BECAME SUICIDAL AFTER RACE ABUSE (UK)

SPEEDY HANDLING OF ASYLUM PROCEDURE(Liechtenstein)

KILLERS 'WERE EARNING RACIST BADGE' (USA)

RACISM IN IRELAND UPDATE

Headlines November 26, 1999

JEWISH CEMETERY IN THE HAGUE DESECRATED (Netherlands)

FIREBOMB CAUSE OF FIRE IN ASYLUM SEEKERS CENTRE (Netherlands)

OPINION POLL: NO ROMA AS NEIGHBOURS (Slovakia)

INTERVENTION ON STATELESSNESS AT OSCE REVIEW CONFERENCE(Greece)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS RELIGION LAW(Russia)

NGO'S TO TURN TO COURTS ? (Russia)

Headlines November 25, 1999

FRENCH COURT CONFIRMS CONVICTION LE PEN

TURKISH COURT UPHOLDS OCALAN DEATH SENTENCE

LORDS TO FIGHT LOWERING GAY AGE OF CONSENT (UK)

HOMESICK SERBS GIVE UP NATIONALIST DREAM (Bosnia)

Headlines November 24, 1999

REFUGEE CENTRE FACES FURTHER CLOSURE (Ireland)

REFUGEE GROUPS HAIL PLANNED NEW FUND (European Union)

CHAOS AND REVENGE ERODE KOSOVO PEACE

SWISS BANKS MISLED HOLOCAUST COMMISSION

‘AUSTRIA CARD'FOR FOREIGNERS

CZECH WALL OF SHAME GOES DOWN

HITLER TO BOOST SALES OF HEATER(Taiwan)

Headlines November 22, 1999

RUSSIAN NAZI SYMBOLS IN BELARUSSIAN CAPITAL MINSK (Belarus)

Headlines November 19, 1999

ANTI-SEMITIC BOOK CONFISCATED IN HUNGARY

RACE BILL DISAPPOINTS CAMPAIGNERS (UK)

AMAZON STOPS SALE 'MEIN KAMPF' TO GERMANY

ARTISTS AGAINST RACISM GETS AWARD(Canada)

RACE KILLER JAILED FOR LIFE (USA)

Headlines November 16, 1999

ROMA RIGHTS IN GERMANY

DEMO AGAINST COALITION WITH MR. HAIDER'S PARTY (Austria)

Headlines November 15, 1999

CALL FOR HELP FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC

UK NEONAZI'S BUY SPANISH VILLAGE (Spain)

Headlines November 12, 1999

NEW WEBSITE ON SCHOOLS AGAINST DEPORTATIONS (UK)

Headlines November 10, 1999

MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES VIOLATE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS (Czech Republic)

Headlines November 9, 1999

KRISTALLNACHT COMMEMORATION ALL AROUND EUROPE
BELGIUM COURT PERMITS FASCIST MEETING ON NOVEMBER 9 (Belgium)
ROMA PROTEST AGAINST DIVIDING WALL(Czech Republic)

Headlines November 4, 1999

APPEAL TO END RACISM HELL(United Kingdom)






DUTCH LIBERAL PARTY CLOSES WEBFORUM DUE TO RACISM
The Dutch liberal party (VVD) is closing down the interactive part of their webside. They decided to do so after consulting with the Dutch hotline discrimination Internet (MDI) Every day some visitors of the VVD webforum would leave racist and discriminatory remarks. According to the party-spokeswoman mrs Ginjaar they were snowed under with discriminatory slogans. The liberals could do nothing about them because the interactive forum is directly accessible for visitors. In the beginning of next year a new, moderated, webforum will go online. Ginjaar says she doesn't know if the remarks were made by VVD members airing their opinion or VVD haters trying to discredit the party.
Hotline Discrimination Internet

NEWSPAPERS PUBLISH NAMES AND PHOTOS NEO-NAZIS (Sweden)
Sweden's 4 largest newspapers have taken an unprecedented stand against Nazism Tuesday, by printing the names and photos of 62 known far right activists. The papers also dedicate pages of copy to common articles about Neo-Nazi activity in Sweden, written anonymously to protect the authors. The papers involved in the move come from across the political spectrum, from the conservative Svenska Dagbladet, to the liberal Expressen and Dagens Nyheter papers, and finally the Social Democratic Aftonbladet. Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson says he's pleased at the newspapers' actions: "The articles are further proof that Sweden is united. We will never let nazism or other threats against democracy get a foothold in our country."
Aftonbladet

POLICE ‘PUT BLOCK ON PROMOTION BLACKS AND ASIANS'(UK)
One of Britain's most successful police officers from an ethnic minority yesterday accused the service of the "ethnic cleansing" of black and Asian candidates for promotion to senior ranks. At a conference to launch the new National Black Police Association, Ali Dizaei also suggested that the testing procedures for senior ranks were "culturally biased", with too few questions about policing competence. Mr Dezaei, a law graduate who ran day-to-day policing in Oxford before joining the Metropolitan Police, said more senior officers from black and Asian backgrounds were needed to bring about changes in the force to show the public it was not racist and to act as role models for ethnic minority recruits. But he said that in the last four years not one black officer had gone through the service's accelerated promotion scheme, the "fast track" system for graduates, which is increasingly the pool from which members of the Association of Chief Police Officers are drawn. Of the 102 black or Asian candidates who applied for a place on the scheme in the four years, only two were interviewed, Mr Dezaei said. But they failed to secure places. Twelve per cent of graduates were now from black or Asian backgrounds. "I use ethnic cleansing as a manner of speech to reflect the fact that there is not one black officer on the fast track scheme and the people who join the fast track system today will become the senior officers of tomorrow." Mr Dezaei referred to what he called a "chicken mesh" at the top of the service through which black and Asian officers could see success, but could not reach it.
The Black Police Association (BPA)

NEW RULES FOR IMMIGRANT YOUTHS(Denmark)
Minister of Justice Frank Jensen is preparing new legislation to make it harder for young offenders with foreign backgrounds to get Danish citizenship. He is also considering a ban on balaclava masks. Minister of Justice Frank Jensen is considering how to change the current law about how youths obtain Danish citizenship. At the present time, young foreigners between the ages of 18 and 23 who have lived in Denmark for at least ten years can automatically receive citizenship when they apply for it. All other foreigners are required to be accepted by Parliament's Citizenship Committee. It is there they are served with a quarantine period, if they have committed any crimes. Jensen believes this should also apply to the youths. The number applications for citizenship by young foreigners has increased dramatically in the past few years.
©The Copenhagen Post
Ministry of Forreign Affairs Denmark

EXPULSION OK BY US, VOTERS SAY (Denmark)
A controversial expulsion order directed fourteen days ago against a Danish-born Turk living in Odense, Ercan Cicek, was claimed by rioters who went amok on the streets of Copenhagen last week to be the cause of their unrest. The expulsion order has been criticized as racially discriminatory and unconstitutional. Under existing legislation, do the courts indeed have the right to exile an individual born and raised in Denmark ? The government has refused to be drawn on the subject, and leading constitutional experts disagree. However a newspaper survey conducted last week by daily newspaper BT asked a random cross-section of the population what they think, and the results of the survey indicate that a resounding majority of Danes firmly support the expulsion order. Coincidentally the survey was conducted in the morning of the same day that the riots erupted.
©The Copenhagen Post

EURO-COURT OCALAN MERCY PLEA (Council of Europe)
The European Court of Human Rights asked Turkey yesterday to suspend its death sentence on the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan. In a statement, the court said it invited Turkey to take every possible measure so that the execution is not carried out.
The European Court of Human Rights

AIR FRANCE REPORTED FOR DISCRIMINATION(France/Sweden)
Uppsala, Sweden, (AFP) - Air France has been accused of ethnic discrimination for not allowing a Moroccan citizen who had received medical treatment in Sweden to board his scheduled flight, Swedish news agency TT reported Tuesday. The airline was reported to the Ombudsman for Ethnic Discrimination, a government agency under the Ministry of Culture, the agency said. Ethnic discrimination, if proven, is a criminal offense in Sweden punishable by either a fine, a prison term, or both. An acquaintance of the Moroccan man, who reported the incident, said the man had been told at the check-out counter he could not board due to overweight baggage. He deposited half the baggage with a brother who had accompanied him to the airport in order to meet the travel requirements, but was still prohibited from boarding by ground personnel over the protests of the cabin crew. The Air France employee at Stockholm's Arlanda airport is reported to have said "...typical of Africans and Turks to always carry too many bags, and now we're going to teach them", a local newspaper reported. The re-booking to a later flight cost the traveller 850 kronor, a little more than one hundred dollars. Back home in Morocco, the sick man's family had traveled 450 kilometres (270 miles), from Marrakesh to Casablanca to meet him. Worried when he did not arrive, Air France in Casablanca was unable to provide any information whatsoever about the man or his flight bookings. The Ombudsman for Ethnic Discrimination in Stockholm told AFP the Moroccan man's case would likely be handed on to the police and tried in court.
Ombudsman for Ethnic Discrimination (Swedish only)

MIGRANTS PUSH FOR SECOND CHANCE AT LEGISLATION(Greece)
Officials at the labour ministry are currently discussing a second registration for undocumented migrants in Greece, but it is still too early to say exactly what it will involve, Vassilis Brakatsoulas, secretary general of the labour ministry, told the Athens News last week.Tens of thousands of undocumented migrants are hoping for a decision that will allow them to live and work in Greece legally without the day-to-day fear of being deported by authorities. It is uncertain at this time, however, whether a second registration will lead to the issuing of work permits, such as the Green Card. 'The labour ministry intends to give those who wish to register a chance to do so, ' said Brakatsoulas. 'But this may not necessarily secure them the right to work. An opportunity to register, however, will certainly protect them from deportation.' Brakatsoulas explained that the government is reluctant to begin a second legalisation process, but stressed labour officials are in the initial stages of discussion concerning what 'incentives' a second registration would include. It was understood, however, that one of the main aims would be for the government to determine the exact number of undocumented migrants living in Greece. A final decision regarding the much hoped-for second chance for undocumented migrants to become legal is expected by mid-January.

KUWAITI WOMEN FAIL TO WIN VOTE
Women in Kuwait were robbed of their eagerly awaited chance to take part in political life yesterday when the all-male parliament narrowly rejected a Bill to give them the vote. Hundreds of men who crowded the public gallery in the Gulf state's parliament cheered the 32-30 vote. Women, sitting separately, filed out in stunned silence, muttering under their breath about the treachery of supporters who betrayed them at the last minute. Kuwait's ruling al-Sabah family are strong advocates of allowing women to vote for the parliament and stand for elected office, which is unheard of in the other Arab states of the Gulf. But the conservative sentiments of the Sunni Muslim and tribal MPs - who want men and women segregated - carried the day. The Bill would have given women in the oil-rich emirate the right to vote from 2003. Many women had thought that the vote was in the bag. But two MPs who had backed their campaign abstained and one voted against. Yasmine al-Sabah, a young member of the ruling family, said: "It is a huge disappointment. The hypocrisy of some MPs is unbelievable." She said some MPs had followed their own agendas, rather than voting on the merits of the female vote. However, others said the margin was so close that they would continue the struggle. Sheikha al-Nisf, a women's activist, said: "We will continue to fight." It is up to the government to propose the Bill again, but it was not clear if it intended to do so. Kuwait is the only Arab state in the Gulf region with a directly elected parliament. But even in Kuwait the franchise is very restricted. Only men over 21 who have held Kuwaiti citizenship for more than 20 years can vote. Women and those serving in the police and armed forces are also excluded.
©Electronic Telegraph

POLITICAL CANDIDATE CONVICTED FOR RACISM (Denmark)
A former Town Council candidate from the Danish People's Party has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred and fined 4,000 kroner by Silkeborg's Town Court. Henning Rye Pedersen, who failed to be elected to office, was found to have broken the law when he made racist remarks during the general election campaign in March this year. Mr Pedersen, who was the Danish People's Party candidate for Silkeborg Town Council, made controversial statements concerning immigrants and refugees living in Denmark in an interview published by local newspaper Midtjyllands Avis. The Unity Party in Silkeborg reported the right-wing politician to the police. This resulted in State Prosecutor Peter Brøndt Jørgensen charging Henning Rye Pedersen under paragraph 266B of the penal code. This paragraph refers directly to racism and carries a maximum sentence of two years. During the trial, Prosecuting Attorney Kenn Willumsgaard asked that Mr Pedersen receive a prison sentence, saying the comments made in the interview were grossly racist. The court however did not agree and decided to fine the defendant instead. Immediately after the sentencing, the right-wing politician filed a motion to appeal the conviction. "This is a political decision that I simply do not understand. It's shocking that the legal system reacts so strongly to a man like me. I have been writing letters to the newspapers for over 10 years about Denmark's slack immigration policy. I am not giving up and I am appealing over the ruling. But I am completely finished with politics and the Danish People's Party who gave me no support during the whole case," said Mr Pedersen to Jyllands Posten newspaper after the trail. Mr Pedersen resigned in protest from the Danish People's Party, after the party core distanced themselves from the publicity that followed his interview.

HUNGARY STRAINED BY ASYLUM SEEKERS
Hungary should increase its budget for refugees in the face of a huge increase in asylum seekers, many of whom came from Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, a U.N. official said Friday. Stafan Berglund, a local representative for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, also called for a new attitude ``whereby we see refugees as people who contribute to society and not as a burden.'' Last year, more than 7,000 people applied for refugee status in Hungary, a significant increase from the 177 applicants in 1997. In the first ten months of this year, more than 10,000 people have applied. The asylum seekers came from over 70 countries. The bulk of the people are from neighboring Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan is the second-most-common country of origin. ``Our resources are really stretched,'' said Istvan Erdelyi, deputy director of the Hungarian Office for Refugee and Migration Affairs. Funding and staff have not kept pace with the rapid increase. So far, only 276 people have been granted refugee status and 1,499 were accorded temporary residence. On March 1, 1998, Hungary opened its boarders, allowing people from anywhere in the world to apply for asylum if they can prove they are being persecuted on a religious, national, ethnic, racial or social grounds in their home country.

WORKER BECAME SUICIDAL AFTER RACE ABUSE (UK)
A British Telecom worker who said workmates put staples in his food and threatened to run him over with a forklift truck considered suicide. Nathan Lee, 53, could receive up to £225,000 after an industrial tribunal ruled that he suffered racial discrimination and harassment leading to his constructive dismissal. Mr Lee, who is of Chinese origin, said he believed that his life was in danger at the BT depot in Crayford, Kent, after being told that he would be "the next Stephen Lawrence". He was claiming compensation and damages for injury tofeelings, personal injury and future loss of earnings. The former material handler said the depot had an atmosphere of mob rule. He said: "I was ashamed of myself for letting these things happen. The pressure became acute and I felt suicidal. I cried from time to time. I began to hate myself for being born in this way." Dr Philip Steadman, a specialist in psychological injury, told the tribunal that Mr Lee, from East Ham, east London, was seriously depressed.

SPEEDY HANDLING OF ASYLUM PROCEDURE(Liechtenstein)
About 220 refugees from Kosovo filed applications for asylum. In order to be able to deal with this large number of applications, government passed a regulation concerning the refugee legislation and filed a report and motion to parliament for its information. The regulation, which differs from the refugee legislation, was drawn up in order to guarantee a speedy and fair procedure. The regulations are based on article 44, paragraph 2 of the refugee legislation. In this article the legal position and procedures connected to Kosovan refugees are regulated. In order to be able to deal with this flood of applications for asylum, also additional staff will be required. As Head of Government Mario Frick stated upon enquiry by the "Liechtensteiner Vaterland", it is possible that trainees, for example law students, will be employed.

KILLERS 'WERE EARNING RACIST BADGE' (USA)
A BLACK teenager was shot dead by two youths as part of an initiation rite of a white supremacist group, say police in America. Sasezley Richardson, 19, was walking home in Elkhart, Indiana, when he was shot in the head from a passing car. Jason Powell, 19, and Alex Witmer, 18, have pleaded not guilty to murder but if the FBI, which is working with the local police, can establish a racial motive they will face the death penalty if found guilty. Mike Christofeno, the county's deputy chief prosecutor, said: "This is a particularly heinous crime. This victim was entirely random. It could have been any black person or any minority person." According to investigators, Witmer told police he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a racist prison gang. Powell had wanted to join the gang and earn a spider web tattoo as a badge for killing a black. Since 1991, law enforcement agencies have had to report which crimes they consider to have been motivated by racial hatred. Crimes committed against people because they are homosexual, female or disabled have since been added to the list of federal hate crimes. According to the FBI, last year there were 7,755 registered hate crimes, 4,321 of which involved "racial bias". This was a slight reduction on previous years but high-profile cases such as the murder of James Byrd, a black man who was tied to a pick-up truck and dragged to death in Texas last year, have heightened public awareness of racial crimes.

RACISM IN IRELAND UPDATE
Cead Mile Failte? NOT! BORD FAILTE, the Irish tourist board, sells an image of Ireland as being a very friendly place to visit, a place where you are guaranteed a huge "Cead Mile Failte" (a hundred thousand welcomes). Tell that to the group of nine Polish tourists whose friendly welcome in mid-June consisted of spending a night in Mountjoy prison before being dispatched back to Poland unceremoniously because "they didn't have enough money". Or to the Japanese academic who wanted to come to Ireland for the Bloomsday celebrations, also in mid-June, but was refused permission to land in the State. These are just two cases which made it into the media, without doubt there are many more. The friendly Irish welcome has been replaced by the hostile, suspicious glare of the immigration official. Fortress Europe has come to Ireland with a vengeance. In January, the High Court found sections of the 1935 Aliens Act unconstitutional and ruled that the Department of Justice did not have the power to deport people from the State. This has resulted in a huge crackdown at points of entry in an effort to keep people out. The Fortress Europe club, to which the Irish government has gained full membership, is brutal in its dealings with people fleeing the troublespots of the world. Within the past twelve months, at least two states - Belgium and Austria - have killed asylum seekers during attempts to deport them. The UNITED website (http://www.united.non- profit.nl) documents over 1,300 refugee deaths through Fortress Europe since 1993. Examples include: September 1997 - 26 North Africans drowned when trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar; last July two teenagers were found frozen to death in the cargo hold of a plane that flew from Nigeria to Brussels. Political Hypocrisy When the Kosovo crisis was at its height in June, the Irish government - after much soul-searching - eventually agreed to the admission of 1,000 Kosovar refugees into Ireland. Perhaps one of the sickest examples of political hypocrisy for decades (and we've had a great deal of it!) was the sight of Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue posing with the first group of Kosovars to arrive. This was the same Minister who had threatened that up to 90% of asylum seekers in Ireland could expect to be deported. The man whose Department had already refused asylum to the nearly 200 Kosovar refugees who had arrived here in the previous two years, and who was in the process of shepherding the 'Immigration Bill 1999' through the Dááil. This Bill had but one purpose - to quickly restore the right to deport. This was also the same Minister who had consistently refused to extend the right to work to asylum seekers. Hypocrisy is of course nothing new to politicians - either in Ireland or elsewhere. Neither is a complete disregard for any semblance of democracy. The Minister cast any pretence at democratic debate completely aside in the final days of the Dááil session, before its three month summer holiday. Debate on the Immigration Bill was taking too long for the Minister's liking. Anxious to have a deportation process in place before going away to enjoy his holidays, the Minister proposed a 16-page amendment to the Bill, and placed a guillotine on debate. On Thursday July 1st, 75 proposed amendments were dealt with in one vote, and the Bill was forced through. Unprecedented Power This Bill gives unprecedented power to the Minister. A deportation order can be made against any non-national who has been "...indicted for or charged with any crime or offence" [Section3.2(b)] (no presumption of innocence; not even a serious crime - someone could conceivably deported for not buying a television licence or for breaking the Litter Act by dropping a cigarette box on the street!). Or indeed against "a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Minister, be conducive to the common good"[Section 3.2(i)]. It is fair to say that John O'Donoghue's vision of what might be "conducive to the common good" probably differs greatly to that of the ordinary worker. After all, it appears that he believes that the Department he is in charge of is called the department of 'Just Us' or alternately "just me and my henchmen". Apart from the anti-democratic way in which the Bill was rushed through parliament (proof again, if such proof were needed, of the uselessness of our so-called 'democracy'), this measure presents all anti-racists with a direct challenge. Deportations are about to resume. Fortress Ireland is about to unleash its brutality in an even greater fashion than heretofore on asylum seekers. We must unite and stand together in physically resisting deportations. To borrow a phrase it would be "conducive to the common good" if we managed to defeat the government's attempts to throw people out of the country.
Gregor Kerr, (member, Anti-Racism Campaign)

This article is from Workers Solidarity No 58 published in November 1999. More articles from this issue at: http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/ws99.html

JEWISH CEMETERY IN THE HAGUE DESECRATED (Netherlands)
Today a silent protest was held and candles were burned at a Jewish cemetery in The Hague after a desecration which took place last thursday. Unknown persons painted swastika's and slogans saying '6 million was not enough' , Sieg Heil' and 'Combat 18' on the caretakers house which stands on the cemetery grounds and on gravestones. It was the second time this week that antisemitic slogans were painted in The Hague and the 11th time this year. The silent protest was organized by the Jewish Community and the Centre for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI). In his speech Mr. Deetman, mayor of The Hague, strongly condemned these antisemitic acts. Speeches were also held by Rabbi S. Katzman of the Jewish Community in The Hague, the Israeli ambassador Mr. Y.Gal and director of the CIDI Ronny Naftaniel, who stated that 'more terrible than antisemitic and racist acts is the indifference about them' .
CIDI website: http://www.cidi.nl

FIREBOMB CAUSE OF FIRE IN ASYLUM SEEKERS CENTRE (Netherlands)
The fire last wednesday night in a building designated for asylum seekers in Groenekan (NL) was caused by a firebomb. Police is investigating if this attack has anything to do with local dissatisfaction about the planned arrival of asylum seekers. Perpetrators are being sought within a group of youngsters who were creating nuisance earlier that evening with fireworks. The newly renovated building would have, starting in March 2000, hosted 180 asylum seekers.

OPINION POLL: NO ROMA AS NEIGHBOURS (Slovakia)
Nine out of ten Slovaks would not want Roma to be their neighbours. This is the result of a Public opinion poll of about 1000 people by the „Focus Institute. It was published by the Slovak press on Saturday. Roughly 5 – 10 % of the Slovak population are Roma. Because of the isolation of minorities, Roma ghettos have been established in many places in the past years. According to Vincent Danihel, representative of the Slovak government for the Roma, the unemployment of Roma amounts to nearly 100 %. They can exist only by government aid. In the past months thousands of Roma emigrated to countries as Great Britain, Belgium, and Scandinavia. However, in most cases no political asylum was granted to them.
RomNews

INTERVENTION ON STATELESSNESS AT OSCE REVIEW CONFERENCE(Greece)
At the 1999 OSCE Review Conference, the Greek Helsinki Monitor and Minority Rights Group-Greece made an intervention regarding the situation of stateless persons in Greece: The two NGOs welcomed the 1998 abolition of article 19 of the Greek Citizenship Code (Law 3370 of 1955) which provided that a "person of non-Greek ethnic origin leaving Greece without the intention of returning may be declared as having lost Greek citizenship." This right also applied to a person of non-Greek ethnic origin born and domiciled abroad and their minor children living abroad, if both of their parents or the surviving parent had also lost citizenship. Article 19 was abolished by a parliamentary voice vote on 11 June 1998. In January 1998, Minister of the Interior Alekos Papadopoulos had stated that, since its introduction in 1955, 60,000 Greek citizens had lost their citizenship through the application of the article, the large majority of whom were members of the Muslim minority in Thrace. At the OSCE Review Conference, the Greek Helsinki Monitor and Minority Rights Group-Greece emphasized that the abolition of article 19 had not completely solved the problem because the abolition had no retroactive effect: past victims of the article cannot reclaim their citizenship. Such individuals include those who have remained stateless within Greece (estimates vary between 300-1,000) or abroad (some 1,400 in Turkey and an unknown number elsewhere) and those who adopted the nationality of another country after leaving Greece and losing citizenship (the vast majority). Stateless individuals in Greece have had difficulty receiving social services such as health care and education and -until December 1997-were even denied the protection of the 1954 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which Greece ratified in 1975.
Greek Helsinki Monitor

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS RELIGION LAW(Russia)
The Constitutional Court on 23 November ruled that the restrictions imposed on religious associations by the 1997 law on religious organizations do not violate the Russian Constitution, according to Interfax. According to the ruling, "the government has the right to erect certain barriers so that the status of a religious organization is not granted automatically and the legalization of sects that violate human rights and commit unlawful and criminal deeds is prevented." In addition, according to the court, the government has the right "to obstruct missionary activities (not least in connection with the problem of proselytism)," particularly if such activities "are accompanied by offers of material or social benefits with the purpose of recruiting new members for a Church, the unlawful influence on people in need or distress, psychological pressure or threat of force, and so forth." At the same time, the court also ruled that the clause in the 1997 law requiring religious groups to show proof they have existed in Russia for more than 15 years does not apply to groups registered before the 1997 law was enacted or to congregations that are part of a registered centralized religious organization. The court made the ruling in response to a case brought before the court by a group of Jehovah's Witnesses from Yaroslavl and Pentecostalists from Khakassia. According to a Jehovah's Witnesses press release, the Yaroslavl congregation has existed since 1967 but was registered only in 1992. Under the law, groups that existed for less than 15 years are not allowed to own property, organize worship in public places, distribute literature, or invite foreigners to Russia to act as clergymen, according to "The Moscow Times" on 24 November.
rferl newsline

NGO'S TO TURN TO COURTS ?(Russia)
Russia's non-governmental organizations, many of whom were unable to re-register before the 1 July 1999 deadline stipulated by a 1995 law, have continued working, "although not quite legally," "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 24 November. According to the daily, some regional administrations are not kindly disposed toward such groups, particularly human rights organizations, and have used "the most insignificant pretexts to refuse to re-register organizations." The newspaper also reported, without citing any group by name, that legal proceedings are inevitable and "will cost the Treasury much more than prolonging" the registration period would have. An amendment extending the deadline to 1 July 2000 passed the State Duma but was rejected by the Federation Council. The Duma can override the decision of the upper legislative body but only with a two-thirds vote.

FRENCH COURT CONFIRMS CONVICTION LE PEN
The court of appeal in Paris has confirmed the earlier conviction of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Amongst other things, Le Pen won't be allowed to be in public office for the period of one year. This means he will probably have to give up his seats in the European parliament and in the parliament of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azure region. It is still possible for Le Pen to appeal again with a higher court for this conviction for abusing a socialist female politician.

TURKISH COURT UPHOLDS OCALAN DEATH SENTENCE
A Turkish appeals court Thursday upheld Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan's conviction for treason and separatism, charges that carry a mandatory death sentence. The death sentence must now be endorsed by parliament and President Suleyman Demirel before any execution can take place. Turkey's European allies repeatedly have warned Ankara that hanging Ocalan would jeopardize the country's dreams of membership in the European Union. Although Turkish courts have passed dozens of death sentences, the cases have remained in committee in parliament and have not been brought to a vote. Turkey has not carried out a death sentence since 1984. About 100 relatives of Turkish soldiers slain in fighting against Ocalan's rebels gathered outside the Ankara courthouse and began chanting "Long Live Justice!" and "Listen Europe!" after Justice Demirel Tavil read the court's decision. Some 1,000 people later marched to parliament chanting "Approve the Execution!" In its brief ruling, the court stated that the previous trial had been held" in accordance with legal procedures." "The demand for appeal has been rejected," the court stated. Ocalan's lawyers said before Thursday's ruling that they were prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. That case could take up to two years. Turkey has said that it would not act before the European court makes its decision. "Since Turkey wants to enter the European Union, Turkey's justice system has to take into consideration international norms, and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights," Bulent Tanor, a professor of constitutional law, said on private NTV television. Turkey just successfully hosted a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is expected to become a candidate for European Union membership at a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in about three weeks. German Ambassador Joachim Vergau said Tuesday in a speech in the Aegean city of Izmir that Turkey should "forget the Helsinki summit if Ocalan is executed," Turkish media reported. No member of the European Union imposes the death penalty and the Ocalan case is considered a key test for Turkey. "Abiding by European pressure and not approving the death penalty would endanger the Turkish Republic's independence," said Sefkat Cetin, deputy chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party. "The person or organization that causes this cannot remain in power, they will be toppled by the people."
Press Agency Ozgurluk.Org

LORDS TO FIGHT LOWERING GAY AGE OF CONSENT (UK)
Plans to lower the homosexual age of consent from 18 to 16 were welcomed by gay rights groups but are expected to lead to a clash with the House Lords. An attempt to introduce the measure was thrown out by the Lords in April. This time the Government said it was prepared to use the Parliament Act, which allows it to reintroduce a Bill that has been blocked, to get it past the upper chamber. The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill will bring the age of homosexual consent into line with heterosexuals and head off a potentially politically embarrassing test case due to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights. The Bill will also make it a criminal offence for people in positions of trust, such as teachers or care workers, to have sex with a child in their care and under the age of 18. And it will change the law so that under-age children who engage in homosexual acts with someone above the age of consent will no longer be committing a criminal act. Another measure welcomed by gay rights campaigners is the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which bans councils from promoting homosexuality. Section 28, a law still emotively associated with Margaret Thatcher, will be scrapped in the Local Government Act. Section 28 stopped libraries from stocking books promoting homosexual issues and banned teachers from portraying homosexuality as a "pretended family relationship". Angela Mason, executive director of Stonewall, hailed both Bills and said Labour was "finally delivering on its promise. An unequal age of consent denied young gay men access to advice and information they need at a very vulnerable time of their life. It can never be argued that making them criminals protects them." However, OutRage! the gay rights protest group led by Peter Tatchell, said scrapping Section 28 was "inadequate", as it would still not guarantee teachers "will challenge anti-gay prejudices." He said the Bill must be amended to place a legal duty on councils to combat "homophobic bullying" and provide factual information about homosexual issues.
Teachers' unions criticised plans to make it an offence for teachers having sexual relations with pupils aged 16 and 17.
OutRage!

HOMESICK SERBS GIVE UP NATIONALIST DREAM (Bosnia)
Thousands of Bosnian Serbs are giving up the nationalist dream of living in their own ethnically pure republic and returning to their old homes in the Muslim-dominated capital, Sarajevo. They say they are fed up with the low wages and high unemployment in Republika Srpska, the Serb-run area of Bosnia, and with eking out an existence in war-scarred former Muslim towns and villages. The numbers returning to Sarajevo are an indictment of the Serb nationalist leaders, especially the wartime Bosnian Serb chief, Radovan Karadzic, who fuelled the conflict with his gospel that his people would pay any price to live without Muslims and Croats. A former activist in Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) who would not disclose his name fled the suburb of Ilidza when it was taken over by the Muslim-Croat federation but has now returned to Sarajevo. He said last week: "I supported the SDS and its ideals in 1992, but I suppose that I made a mistake." Before the war there were 200,000 Serbs in Sarajevo. Most of those who lived in Muslim-held areas left for Serb territories when the war broke out. A few remained, refusing to desert their friends and city.Under the Sarajevo Declaration, signed two years ago, the Muslim authorities pledged to facilitate the return of the Serbs who left. In exchange the Office of the High Representative is pushing for Muslims to be allowed to return to their villages in the Serb-run areas of eastern Bosnia. Unlike in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians have taken bloody retribution against their former oppressors, there is little thirst for revenge in Bosnia, although the killing was on a much larger scale.
This Week in Bosnia-Hercegovina

REFUGEE CENTRE FACES FURTHER CLOSURE (Ireland)
The refugee centre in Dublin that was forced to close for a day because of big queues faced further disruption last night. The centre has been established as a "one stop shop" designed to deal with social welfare payments made to refugees as well as asylum applications. Services were halted for 24 hours earlier this month after police were called to deal with hundreds of people outside the building. Last night, talks between government officials and trade unions following pleas for more staff and better conditions for refugees broke down. A spokesman for the Irish Municipal, Public and Civil Union said: "Our members are continuing to work in unacceptable conditions. While they are anxious to continue to provide a service for refugees, they cannot do so at risk to their personal safety." Labour Court conciliators were expected to intervene in the dispute. At the time of the closedown, the centre was dealing with 1,000 people a week. The junior foreign minister, Liz O'Donnell, said the government's refugee policy was a shambles. She called for a more humanitarian approach. Ivor Callely, of Mr Ahern's Fianna Fail party who is the chairman of the health authority dealing with refugees, claimed Ireland had become a soft touch for immigrants who "cashed in on benefits" and said the government should adopt tougher policies.
Irish Refugee Council

REFUGEE GROUPS HAIL PLANNED NEW FUND (European Union)
Refugee support groups have welcomed European Commission plans to set up a permanent fund to help people seeking political asylum in the Union. The proposal to create a ‘European Refugee Fund' is set to be unveiled next week by Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner António Vitorino, who is likely to call for a total of 26 million euro to be set aside for initiatives to assist refugees next year. The new fund would be targeted on three specific areas: setting up reception facilities for asylum seekers newly arrived in the Union; initiatives designed to help those whose claims for asylum have been accepted to integrate into local communities; and measures to help ‘voluntary returnees' — those whose applications for asylum have been refused and who have agreed to return home. If, as seems likely, EU governments and the European Parliament endorse Vitorino's plan, the new fund will give a significant boost to organisations which deal with refugees and asylum seekers on the ground. "This is a considerable amount of money and we feel that this is a generally positive development," said Areti Sianni of the London-based European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). Under the current rules, EU governments must reach a fresh agreement every year before money from Union coffers can be released for the types of refugee initiatives targeted by the planned new fund. This means that organisations dealing with asylum seekers often do not know until the last minute whether they will have the funds to continue working in the coming year.
European Council on Refugees and Exiles

CHAOS AND REVENGE ERODE KOSOVO PEACE
Pristina, Kosovo - Five months after NATO forces moved in to take absolute control of Kosovo, there is little power and an inconstant water supply, the streets are full of garbage, traffic is in chaos without working stoplights or police direction, few cars have license plates, and no one has new identity papers.Hundreds of thousands of Albanians driven out by the Serbs have returned from refugee camps, and the Serbian and Gypsy minorities continue to be harassed and attacked. The UN government here, starved of funds by the countries that fought and won the war, is unable to pay salaries even to the public employees it is supposed to control. Justice is rare and court trials nearly nonexistent, so few are punished; robberies, apartment thefts, extortion and even murders take place with near impunity, some of it a function of organized crime. There are only 1,700 international police officers to provide security, and the patrols of the NATO-led peacekeeping force are generally static and naggressive.The burning of Serbs' homes takes place almost daily in an organized fashion, increasing the pressure on the Serbian minority to flee the province or gettoize itself in enclaves, surrounded by hostile Albanians who remember their own years of repression. The reality of revenge and intolerance is eroding the UN goal of a multiethnic society, and the only multiethnic organization now functioning is the nascent police force, where a few of the 170 or so cadets graduated thus far are Serbs or members of other minorities. It would be wonderful enough, officials say, if the people here would simply stop killing one another, or turning away as others kill, and manage at least to live side by side. But no one expects that happy prospect any time soon.
©New York Times Service
Radio B2-92

SWISS BANKS MISLED HOLOCAUST COMMISSION
Some of the 254 Swiss banks under investigation to determine if they still held assets belonging to Holocaust victims were told by their trade group to make "misleading" statements, according to a draft report. After three years of work, the Volcker Commission report did not pull its punches, finding support for long-standing claims by Holocaust victims that some Swiss banks blocked them from withdrawing family funds after World War II. Exactly how much those Holocaust accounts are worth is not known, but a separate study done for the commission found that in today's dollars, Europe's Jews controlled $30 billion in liquid funds that could have been sent to safe havens in various countries in the prewar period. The questionable actions identified by the Volcker Commission, which spent three years and about $200 million investigating Switzerland's banks, included: "withholding of information from Holocaust victims about their accounts, inappropriate closing of accounts, failure to keep adequate records, many cases of insensitivity to the efforts of victims or heirs to claim dormant accounts, and: "a general lack of diligence and even active resistance to earlier private and official inquiries about dormant accounts," according to the draft report. The report has been revised as Swiss banks and Jewish advocacy groups battled over the text and over how many of the 54,000 Holocaust-linked accounts will be published. Concerned about how restitution would be handled for the counts for which records are incomplete, the Swiss banks resisted publishing all theHolocaust-linked accounts. The initial figure of 44,000 accounts was raised to nearly 54,000 at the last minute, and about half of these were expected to be published. The Swiss banks' own audits had only uncovered 755 accounts. The banks, eager to see some exculpatory language included in the report, had to settle for the commission's finding that they did not conspire together.
Dormant Accounts Website of the Swiss Bankers Association

‘AUSTRIA CARD'FOR FOREIGNERS
The Austrian extreem right party FPÖ of Jörg Haider wants a new identity-card for foreigners with not only a passport photograph, but also a fingerprint. The so called ‘Austria card' should contain personal data for each indivdual foreigners and information about the duration of their stay. It will be an ‘effective instrument' for combating illegals according to party-spokeswoman Helene Partik-Pable. A part from the identity-card all foreigners have to speak reasonable German and no more than 30% of childeren in school should be foreign.

CZECH WALL OF SHAME GOES DOWN
The citycouncil of Usti-nad-Labem has desided to break down the wall separating the houses of the Roma inhabitants of the ‘true' Czech citizens. (See article ‘Roma protest against dividing wall' November 9) They have come to their decision after national en international protests. The wall was built after complaints by other locals about noise and lack of hygiene from the Roma.

HITLER TO BOOST SALES OF HEATER(Taiwan)
A Taiwanese importer of German-made electric heaters is using a cartoon of Adolf Hitler beneath the slogan "Declare war on the cold front" to sell the product. Officials at Germany's quasi-embassy in the capital, Taipei, said yesterday that they had pleaded in vain with the Taiwanese firm to scrap the campaign, in which posters portray a smiling figure in khaki and jackboots, giving a Nazi salute. The cartoons have been displayed on buses and in underground stations in the city for two weeks. Johannes Goeth, an official at the German Trade Office in Taiwan, said: "We talked to the company and told them that it was totally inappropriate, but they said the material had already been printed."

RUSSIAN NAZI SYMBOLS IN BELARUSSIAN CAPITAL MINSK (Belarus)
The activitists and supporters of the Belarussian Interconfessional Association are reporting of the mass appearances of the Nazi symbols and leaflets throughout the whole city of Minsk. According to our information there are more than 300 signs of the activitiey of the Russian Nazi group "Russkoe Natzionalnoe Edinstvo" (Russian National [ethnic] Unity, RNE). The symbol of the swastika is combined with the phone number of a paging operator and the number of a pager. The leaflets and marks are located mostly in the centre of the city and in some 'sleeping areas' at the entrances to the subway stations and bus stops. The appropriate government agencies should be in charge of the control of such groups do nothing, as usual. The leaflets and marks stay for weeks exposed to everybody. Please send your regrets and letters of protest to:
1. Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, ul. Marksa 38, BY-220016 Minsk, Belarus, phone +375-17-2226006
2. Ministry of the Interior, Gorodsky Val 4, BY-220615 Minsk, Belarus, phone +375-17-2272123
3. Committee of State Security, Pr. F. Scoriny 17, BY-220623 Minsk, Belarus, phone +375-17-2299221 Cc to Belarussian Interconfessional Association, biaorg@hotpop.com, fax +375-17-2683559,
Baltic Interfaith Association

ANTI-SEMITIC BOOK CONFISCATED IN HUNGARY
Police in Hungary have confiscated copies of a banned anti-Semitic book in raids on bookshops in the capital, Budapest, and two other towns. The book, the "Protocols of thte Elders of Zion", was written over a hundred years ago by Russia's Tsarist secret police and is a fictitious account of a Jewish plot to dominate the world. Three different editions of the book have been published in recent months and sold openly in Hungarian bookshops. Jewish groups have reacted angrily to the book which they say aims to incite racism.

From: Newsroom BBC World Service

RACE BILL DISAPPOINTS CAMPAIGNERS (UK)
The reform of the Race Relations Act, designed to target discrimination within public bodies, has been branded "disappointing" by the Commission for Racial Equality. The outgoing chairman of the CRE, Sir Herman Ouseley, warned the government that it had passed up a unique opportunity to eradicate racial discrimination. The Race Relations (Ammendment) Bill would allow racism in much-criticised institutions such as the Metropolitan Police to be tackled more effectively. The bill would extend the Race Relations Act 1976 to make it unlawful for a public authority to discriminate directly in carrying out any of its functions. It would also make chief police officers liable for racial discrimination committed by their officers. This would bring the police into line with other employers. The new bill is a direct result of the recommendations made in the Macpherson report earlier this year into the killing of black teenager Stephen Lawrence. The CRE argues that the amended act would only cover direct discrimination rather than tackling indirect discrimination. The CRE, the TUC and many other bodies have long been campaigning for new measures to combat racism in the workplace. They want the government to introduce an enforceable duty on public bodies to combat racism and promote racial equality.
Commission for Racial Equality

AMAZON STOPS SALE 'MEIN KAMPF' TO GERMANY
The American internetbookshop Amazon.com will stop the sale of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler to people in Germany, according to German minister of justice, Herta Daubler-Gmelin. The minister hopes it sets an example for others like Barnesandnoble.com. The sale of written materials that promote hate is forbitten in Germany, but not in the US. Last summer Daubler-Gmelin called for foreign mailorder bookshops to voluntarily stop the sale of Mein Kampf in Germany. Furthermore the bookshops should stop selling right-radical hateliterature to Germans all together. Up untill now when Hitler's book was sold automaticly advertising for books of neonazis like George Rockwell Lincoln (founder of the American Nazi Party)was added.

ARTISTS AGAINST RACISM GETS AWARD(Canada)
Artists Against Racism, a Canadian-based international organization, was honoured Wednesday, Nov. 17, for its work in Indiana, by The Indiana Civil Rights Association. Trace Poulson, the head of AAR's American office, accepted the Honourable Mention on AAR's behalf, in the l999 "Spirit of Justice" Awards by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, for his organizing of Peace in the Park, a concert, city postering, and rally which counteracted last summer's major KKK Rally in Marion, Indiana. Granting the Community Response to Racial Incidents awards will be Ben Johnson, Director of President Clinton's One America Institute, and Lt. Governor Joseph Kernan. The awards ceremony will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, Wednesday November l7, 7pm, at the Indiana Government Center.
Artists Against Racism

RACE KILLER JAILED FOR LIFE (USA)
The third man found guilty of the brutal race killing of a man, who was dragged to death behind a truck in the United States, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Shawn Allen Berry, 24, was spared the death penalty that had been handed down to his fellow murderers, John William King, 24, and Lawrence Russell Brewer, 32, in earlier trials. All three were found guilty of murdering James Byrd Jr near Jasper, Texas, on 7 June, 1998. Mr Byrd, 49, died after being chained by the ankles and dragged behind a pick-up truck over three miles (5km) of country road outside Jasper.
Berry insisted he was just a frightened bystander as the crime, which sent shockwaves through the US, was carried out by his two white supremacist friends.
He testified during his trial that he had wanted to stop the attack but was paralysed by fear of what his racist companions might do to him.
The all-white jury, which took 10 hours to convict Berry, took a further two hours to decide his punishment.

ROMA RIGHTS IN GERMANY
On 18 and 19 November a conference of the interior ministers of Germany will take place. One of the points on the agenda will be a point that has been postponed several times: the arrangement for so-called 'old cases'. This arrangement is for people who have lived in Germany for years but who still have no residency rights or status. Many Roma families, who fled from the former Yugoslavian federation, live since eight or more years in Germany without residency rights. Already since years Roma have been very active to raise awareness about their situation (Begging March 1989, Tent Camp at the Dusseldorf Assembly 1991). Some have been granted a residency permit, but many families are still without status. They cannot go back, their houses have been destroyed and they have lost family members years ago and in the last months again. They have heard that former neighbours and friends have been killed during the war. It is imperative to give all these people, who have made Germany the centre of their lives, a chance to build their future here.
Messages of solidarity can be sent to Rom e.V., a Roma organisation from Cologne: rom.ev@link-lev.dinoco.de

DEMO AGAINST COALITION WITH MR. HAIDER'S PARTY (Austria)
Last weekend tens of thousands of Austrians demonstrated against right-wing populist Haider. According to police sources, some 30.000 (according to the organizers 60.000) people had gathered in Vienna's city center pushing their slogan "no coalition with racism". In the afternoon, Mr Haider had said he was sorry about his contentious declarations about national socialism. During a meeting of the Free Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Oesterreichs, FPOE) Mr Haider stated that what he had said had been insensitive and easily misunderstood. The FPOE had come in second at last October's federal elections. Austria has federal states, similar to big neighbour Germany.
SOS Mitmensch

CALL FOR HELP FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Roma organizations are begging for help in evacuating Roma out of the Czech Republic.
In an urgent appeal eleven of the biggest an most accepted Roma Civil Right Organizations have asked for support in this project.
Since 9 days Roma from all over the Czech Republic are demonstrating in Maticni Ul.
In Usti nad Labem, where the regional government decided some months ago to erect a wall around the a Roma housing estate in Maticni Ul. On 13th of October 1999 the wall was erected to „protect" the non Roma residents of Maticni Ul. from Roma children. This action takes its place among many others of discrimination and exclusion of the Roma in the Czech Republic. „We do not see a chance of protecting our people in the Czech Rep. From the despotism of authorities and the racist encroachments of the people" says Gina. „Since the so-called „turn" in the Czech Rep., dozens of Roma have become victims of racist terror. Over 90 % of the Roma are unemployed, because being „Gypsies" or „black people" they will not be given a job. Roma children are regularly branded as „mentally handicapped" and sent to special Schools. Evan the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, describe the treatment of the Roma as racist, but nothing has changed in the situation of the Roma. On the contrary, „the situation is becoming more dramatic every day", says Gina. To-day, as mentioned before, the Roma organizations are appealing to the world Public for help in evacuating the Roma out of the Czech Republic. „We do not want to be criminalized as refugees any more" says. Gina. „There must be an orderly quota procedure to evacuate our people from the Czech Republic." in the meantime Roma organizations, in particular the International Roma National Congress, have started to speak up for the admission of Roma from the Czech Republic. In letters to the ministers of the interior of the members states of the European Community the western Roma organizations urgently requested them to take in Roma from the Czech republic.
Courtesy of RomNews, published by the Roma National Congress on a Non- commercial basis.
RomNews

UK NEONAZI'S BUY SPANISH VILLAGE (Spain)
Two years ago the extreem right organisation "International Third Position (ITP) has secretly bought
the village Los Pedriches in northern Spain. Los Pedriches had been abandoned by it's inhabitants
in the late seventies. Members of ITP have fixed up the eight houses of the remote village to
provide a safe heaven for supporters of neonazi groups.
In this way ITP hopes to escape any measures by the police.
ITP is antisemitic, against migrants, divorce and democracy.

NEW WEBSITE ON SCHOOLS AGAINST DEPORTATIONS (UK)
What do you do when someone in your class comes into school one morning and tells you
they have received a deportation order? To coincide with Refugee Week, the Institute of Race
Relations (IRR) has launched a new website which tells the stories of school-based campaigns
against deportations.
Schools Against Deportations

MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES VIOLATE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS (Czech Republic)
The District Authority of Prague 3 did not banned or dissolved a march of Patriotic Front
on 28 October 1999 where fascist and chauvinist views were spread. The District Authority of Prague 1 banned all demonstrations for democracy and human rights and against fascists for the same day.
At the same time, the City District Council and Mayor of Prague 1 decided to take away a monument
of an anti-fascist (Jan Sverma) who fell in 1944 fighting against German fascists in Slovakia just because
he was a communist. All this serves promoting extremist right-wing views and violates citizen's rights
granted by the General Declaration of Human Rights as well as by international HR pacts.
Our Czech colleagues ask for your support letters sent to the DA Praha 1 and 3:
posta@oup1.cz and podatelna@p3.mepnet.cz with copies sent to:
Mr. Uhl, Government's High Commissioner for Human Rights (uhl@vlada.cz) and
Duha/UNITED (prokes@duha.adam.cz).

KRISTALLNACHT COMMEMORATION ALL AROUND EUROPE
61 years ago, on 9 November 1938, "Kristallnacht" took place. This partly state-organised pogrom against German Jews symbolises the beginning of the Holocaust. The commemoration has taken on a new meaning as we remember not only the victims from 1938, but also campaign against the rise of neo-nazism and racism in Europe today, and show support for the recent victims of racist and fascist attacks.
Kristallnacht remembrence around Europe

BELGIUM COURT PERMITS FASCIST MEETING ON NOVEMBER 9 (Belgium)
The Belgian highest court today gave the Flemish extreme-right party Vlaams Blok (Flemish Block) permission to hold a meeting in the city centre of Gent on the 9th of November. After a 'njet' from the Gent City council the party started an urgent procedure at the Belgian highest administrative court. The Courd overruled the city and the Vlaams Blok will have their meeting. Democratic parties, antifa groups and citizens are now mobilising a counter demonstration to try and stop the meeting after all.
Antifanet

ROMA PROTEST AGAINST DIVIDING WALL (Czech Republic)
Dozens of Roma from Germany and Poland have joint Roma in the Czech republic in their protest against a recently build wall in Usti nad Labem, a town in northern Czechia. The wall separates 37, most Roma families from the ethnic Czech inhabitants. Last week Czech Roma have build a camp next to the wall in protest. They say they will remain until the 2 metres high wall is taken down again.
Roma News from Radio Prague

APPEAL TO END RACISM HELL (United Kingdom)
Signs of the couple's ordeal are clear on the front of the shop Anti-racism campaigners have launched an appeal in an attempt to raise enough money to buy a shop owned by an Asian businessman who has suffered eight years of violence and abuse. Mal Hussein and his partner Linda Livingstone have made more than 4,000 complaints to police, after being shot at, petrol bombed and physically assaulted since they opened the corner shop on the Ryelands estate in Lancaster. Lancaster City Council had offered to buy the shop but the couple felt their offer was below the market value. Now campaigners from the 1990 Trust are hoping to raise £120,000 by selling shares in the shop.Organisers of the Shares In Anti-Racism scheme are appealing for donations to help to buy the business from the couple and give them a chance to start a new life. The shop will then be converted into an anti-racism centre, with any extra money used to help victims of racist harassment and set up up local anti-racist programmes. The plan is being highlighted on the 1990 Trust's Black Information Link website. Lee Jasper, director of the 1990 Trust, told BBC News Online: "It is the worst and most sustained case of racist harassment I have ever come across. "They live as virtual prisoners in their own home and business and are unable to sell up because obviously no-one wants to buy the shop. They have endured enough." Mr Jasper said by setting up the anti-racism centre, the couple could leave without allowing local racists to claim victory. Mr Jasper said anyone buying shares in the shop would be kept informed about anti-racism initiatives at the new centre.
The 1990 Trust

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