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Worship with us @ Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries, Budapest, Hungary Address: 1081 Bp II János Pál Pápa tér 2 (formerly Köztársaság tér) Direction: From Blaha, take tram 28, 28A, 37, 37A, 62...1 stop. From the traffic light cross to the other side... Or take Metro 4 & get off @ János Pál Pápa tér
Time of worship: Wednesdays @ 18:30 hr Sundays @ 10:30 hr
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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

SOCIETY & HUMAN RIGHTS

Thomas Hammarberg: The commissioner who stood up for the Roma


Hammarberg touring Romani settlements in Kosovo
The end of March may herald the start of spring, but at the Council of Europe it will mark the end of an era.
After six years as Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg will be stepping aside and we would like to express our thanks to him for all he has done for European Roma.


Hailing from Ornskoldsvik in Sweden, Hammarberg has been defending human rights for several decades.
His many illustrious roles before being appointed CoE Commissioner for Human Rights included the Ambassador of the Swedish Government on Humanitarian Affairs and was Secretary General at “Save the Children Sweden” and Amnesty International.
On 1st April 2006, the Swede took over as Commissioner in Strasbourg and has pursued a noble fight against Europe’s treatment of its Roma minorities.
He has been refreshingly outspoken in his criticism of national governments and in 2009 Hammarberg wrote an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel urgently recommending that deportations to Kosovo be stopped.
The Commissioner had been appalled by what he had seen and heard in Kosovo, where Roma families were living in despair and danger amid a led-poisoned camp in Mitrovica.
He urged national leaders, such as Merkel, to visit Kosovo for themselves and see the reality which he described as “a humanitarian catastrophe”.
Hammarberg was similarly angered by the well-publicized deportations of French Roma in 2010 and was extremely critical of the French policy.
In September that year he released a statement entitled “Do not stigmatise the Roma” which was triggered by the French deportations but aimed at all European nations.
He demanded: “The stigmatizing rhetoric has to stop. Serious steps must be taken to counter discrimination of Roma, not least in their home countries.”
In the same statement Hammarberg spoke of a “long and bitter history” of discrimination against the Roma in Europe.
His support of the Roma has been relentless and this April he will be presented with the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma in Berlin by the Documentation and Cultural Centre and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Foundation.
In one of his last acts as Commissioner, Hammarberg contributed to the report “Human Rights of Travelers and the Roma” on February 27.
In the report he stated: ““In many European countries Roma and Travellers are still denied basic human rights and suffer blatant racism. They remain far behind others in education, employment, access to decent housing and health. Their average life span is shorter and infant mortality rates are higher compared to other groups.”
This interview with Hammarberg was used in our film "Uprooted" which focuses on the impact of Europe's repatriation policies.
Hammarberg’s continued stand against what he often refers to as ‘anti-Gypsyism’ is something for which we are truly thankful.
It has been our pleasure to cooperate with the Commissioner during his tenure, particularly in 2011 when he gave a powerful interview for our film “Uprooted.”
What the immediate future holds for the Swede is unclear but he is expected to continue working within human rights. His wealth of experience and knowledge mean it was not surprising to learn that he also has plans to write a book.
Whatever his next move may be, we wish Thomas all the very best and also welcome the incoming Nils Muiznieks of Latvia, who takes up the post at the start of April, and we hope he can build on the steady foundations his predecessor has laid.
Romedia foundation

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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