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Yougoslavia, Federal Rep.of
25.07.01
Urgent Interventions

Yugoslavia: Eviction of Roma's families

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS CONCERN
Case YUG 250701. ESCRC


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Yugoslavia.


Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed, by a reliable source, of an impending police intervention to force eight Roma families out of a public park where they found refuge following their previous eviction, on June 14th 2001, from where they had been living for the past 13 years.

According to the information received, eight Roma families of over 30 people, among whom 10 children are under the age of 10, including a five-month old baby, were evicted on June 14th 2001 from a building site located in the Kostutnjak district of Belgrade. Among the evicted persons are:

- Memisevic Nenad, his wife and two children
- Memisevic Zoran, his wife and two children
- Memisevic Ljubisa, his wife and two children
- Sacirovic Slobodan and his wife
- Sacirovic Mamut, his wife and child
- Stojkovic Goran, his aged parents, wife and two children
- Demirovic Dragan, his wife and three children


It is reported that the Roma have been living in this place since 1988. The eviction, which took place at 11 p.m., was allegedly carried out by the municipal authorities with the assistance of police and private security guards. It is reported that the Roma families had only five minutes to gather their belongings and move otherwise the police threatened to “crash into the lot and break all the furniture and other things”. According to the information received, the mother of the five-month old baby was threatened that if she refused to collaborate during the eviction, her child would be put into a social care institution. The police also allegedly warned the Roma that they would be sent to jail if they tried to return to the site.

It is reported that the eviction order of the eight Roma families follows the initiative taken by the municipality to restore the ownership rights of the former owners (before 1945) and was issued when the building site was denationalised and returned to its previous owner. According to the information received, the former owner sold the building site immediately after the completion of the denationalisation process, and the new owner hired private security guards to assist in the eviction of the Roma families.

As the municipal authorities allegedly failed to provide alternative temporary accommodation, the eight Roma families found refuge in the Kosutnjak public park where they are currently living, in constant fear of being forced to move again. Moreover, it is reported that every night the Roma families have stones thrown at them from moving cars and that garbage is dumped in their settlements. According to the information received, the Roma families are currently living in temporary wooden shelters with no access to toilets and drinking water. It is also reported that they have no food, except that from garbage bins.

Several other cases of eviction have been reported. In 2000, 4 evictions of Roma families were reported, the worst being of the Roma settlement Antena in Belgrade, where all the inhabitants, including children, were beaten by the police. Since January of this year, 5 forced evictions of Roma families have been reported.


Action Requested

Please write to the Yugoslavian authorities urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the above-mentioned persons;

ii. guarantee respect for the economic, social and cultural rights throughout the country and in particular the right to adequate housing;

iii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Adresses:

His Excellency Vojislav Kostunica, President of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Predsednik SRJ, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2, 11070 Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Fax: (+ 011 381) 11 636 775 /(+ 011 381) 11 636 682) / (+ 011 381) 11 636 167 E-mail: VojislavKostunica@gov.yu

His Excellency, Prime Minister, Predsednik Savezne Vlade, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2, 11070 Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Fax: (+ 011-381) 11 636 775 or (011-381) 11 659 682 E-mail:

His Excellency, Minister of Justice, Ministar pravde, Republicko Ministarstvo za pravosudje i optu upravu, Namanjina 26, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Fax: (011-381) 11 361 6590 E-mail:

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fax : + 38 111 681 572

Geneva, July 25th 2001

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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