ENAR Weekly Mail 19

4 November 2005



      ENARgy 13, October 2005

Both the English and French versions of the ENARgy newsletter can now be downloaded from ENARís website (with our apologies for the mistake that initially slipped in: this is ENARgy issue 13, not 12!). The issue focuses on ìawareness-raisingî, giving voice to some EU and national initiatives which promote positive messages of equality and diversity.




      Who's afraid of Islam?

Millions of Muslims are living peacefully in Europe but, from terrorist attacks in London and Madrid to honour killings in Berlin, Islam is getting an increasingly bad name on the continent. How can this negative image be overcome? Read about it in CafÈ Babelís dossier: in English // in French


      AI: Spanish and Moroccan authorities must be held accountable for the violation of migrants' rights

Amnesty International delegates found numerous irregularities in the treatment of migrants, including possible asylum-seekers, during a 10-day mission to Spain and Morocco including the towns of Ceuta, Melilla, Oujda, Nador and Tangier. In the face of the substantial and repeated human rights violations detected by the organization, it urges both governments to immediately stop all expulsions and refoulement of all migrants and asylum-seekers of sub-Saharan origin.

Read more: in English // in French


      Netherlands: Death of eleven immigrants in Schiphol prison

The League for Human Rights in The Netherlands is outraged by the tragic deaths of 11 illegal immigrants who were locked up in a special prison for aliens at Schiphol airport. In the night of 25 October, the illegal immigrants who had been imprisoned pending their deportation, died in a fire that broke out in the prison.

Read more: in English // in French


      European Court condemns ban on Bulgarian party

Bulgaria was criticised for violating human rights last week, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the constitutional courtís ban on a political party was unjustified. The decision over this controversial case is seen as a landmark in the struggle to overcome Bulgarian resistance to recognising the existence of an ethnic Macedonian minority. Read more


      Norway: Neo-Nazi translation confusing youth

A growing number of young Norwegians doubt the truth of the Holocaust after a website has begun translating neo-Nazi propaganda. Read more


      Sweden: Anti-racism organisation faces funding cut / Muslims face most racism in Sweden

ÿ    Despite the fact that no financial irregularities have been found at the Centre Against Racism, Sweden's Board of Integration wants the funding it receives from the state to be reconsidered. The Centre, which is an umbrella organisation for the government's work against racism, hit the headlines in the summer after an investigation by daily paper Svenska Dagbladet. The organisation was accused of being wasteful with public money and of doing nothing since it was formed in the autumn of 2003. Read more

ÿ    According to a new report by the Swedish Integration Board, Muslims are most exposed to racial harassment in the country. Seven out of ten reports of ethnic discrimination came from people with a Muslim background, and almost 40% of those questioned in the survey said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims. The report, Racism and Xenophobia in Sweden, also showed an increasing intolerance of immigration. Read more: in English // in Swedish




      New measures on immigration in the pipeline

Justice Commissioner Frattini is determined to find a common European solution to the problem of illegal immigration. To this end he will undertake a tour of the capital cities of those member states most affected by illegal immigration and discuss a proposed package of measures at the next Justice and Home Affairs Council in December. Read more


      Hampton Court European Council seeks a way through the palace maze

In his analysis of the informal EU summit at Hampton Court Palace, the European Policy Centreís Political Director John Palmer says the Unionís leaders faced a complex set of intertwined issues - ranging from globalisation and economic reform, to trying to agree on a new seven-year budget and how to find the money to boost Europeís flagging innovation, research and development - every bit as daunting as the ancient palace maze. At the end of the day, they seemed to have moved closer to the exit but were still clearly capable of getting badly lost again. Read more

Also read EurActivís report on the summit. (both in English only)


      European Commission Work Programme 2006

Last week, the European Commission adopted its work programme for 2006, setting out its key priorities for the next year. The Commission Legislative and Work Programme for 2006 takes full account of current economic and political trends and where Europe stands on several key strategic dossiers. Progress in these areas will have a key impact on the ability of the European Union to take a real stride towards its goals in 2006. Download the programme: in English // in French


      Sakharov Prize 2005

The Cuban opposition movement Damas de Blanco, the Nigerian human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim and the international organisation Reporters without Borders are this year's joint winners of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. On 26 October the European Parliament decided to award the prize to all three shortlisted candidates. The prize will be officially awarded during the EP plenary sitting in Strasbourg in December 2005. Read more: in English // in French




      Empowering migrant women living in the EU

The European Womenís Lobby (EWL) and Solidar organised a joint workshop at the European Social Platform Conference ëBuilding Social Policy on Fundamental Rightsî on 12 October in Brussels. The workshop looked at the challenges that migrant women experience in Europe and explored ways to ensure a gender-specific approach to EU migration policies. It included an overview of EU immigration policies from a gender perspective, an analysis of the situation of undocumented domestic migrant women workers, as well as the presentation of good practices of two NGOs providing services for migrant and refugee women in Austria and the Netherlands. A report of the workshop including an abstract of the 4 interventions and the conclusions of the workshop will be available soon in English. For further information, please contact Clarisse Delorme, delorme@womenlobby.org




      EC internship for young Roma university graduates in 2006

The European Commission, in cooperation with the Open Society Institute, is pleased to offer 10 three-month periods of internships for young Roma university graduates from all new member states (excluding Cyprus and Malta), Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo, and Turkey. The training periods involve work experience in one of the Commission's departments. The deadline for applications is 1 December 2005.

For more information: in English // in French


      Roma rights at the centre of EC concerns in Bulgaria and Romania

Comprehensive monitoring reports published last week on preparations by Bulgaria and Romania for accession to the EU placed Roma rights issues at the centre of EU concerns about the state of preparedness of both countries for EU membership. For use by policy-makers, practitioners and media, the ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) summarises issues the Commission has identified as in need of urgent work by the governments of Bulgaria and Romania in the run-up to accession. Read more


      Kosovo Roma want to take part in the negotiations on Kosovoís future

On 25 October, one day after the announcement by UN Security Council of the opening of the negotiations on Kosovoís political status, Kosovo Roma have requested to be admitted to these talks. In a letter addressed to high representatives of the international community and the EU representatives of the Kosovo Roma, Ashkalija and Egyptian communities have asked for an urgent solution to the problems of the Roma of the former Yugoslavia who have become victims of wars and racist violence, many of whom continue to live in limbo. Read more


      Romanian Gypsies branded ìthievesî get EU aid in legal battle

Eleonora Rostas said she hid among corn stalks in the Transylvanian countryside of Romania in 1993 as an anti-gypsy mob beat two of her neighbours to death, burned another alive and torched her neighbourhood. Twelve years later, EU warnings about Romania's treatment of its 2.5 million gypsies, or Roma, are helping Rostas fight for compensation from the perpetrators. Romania, which seeks to join the EU, must improve conditions for its poorest ethnic minority, the EU said on 25 October. Read more


      ERRC prevails in court against Bulgarian Ministry of Education on school segregation of Roma

On 25 October, the Sofia District court released its decision on Case 11630/2004 finding that the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, the Sofia Municipality and School Number 103 of Sofia have violated the prohibition of racial segregation and unequal treatment provided in Bulgarian and international law. The civil suit was filed by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) in October 2004. Read more


      Slovak Roma Unplugged

More than 5.000 Roma citizens living in Lunik IX are unplugged from hot water and central heating system. Lunik IX contains 650 municipal flats and is one of the most famous ghettoes of the Eastern Slovak city Kosice's housing estates. Although the municipal flats are equipped with central heating and heating pipe-lines, the Roma people live there in poverty produce their own heat with trees from a nearby forest or by gas bombs. Read more




      Working with the media: a guide for anti-racist campaigners and refugee rights activists

The UK Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has published this 21-page guide for anti-racist campaigners and refugee rights activists on effectively and strategically working with the media. Download the guide


      Deportation is Freedom! The Orwellian World of Immigration Controls

Author: Steve Cohen. Published September 2005; 224 pages; ISBN 1 84310 294 3. Price: £12.99/US$22.95

This book is a searing critique of todayís immigration systems. Former barrister Steve Cohen declares that these systems are deeply flawed, and takes a fresh look at the ethical and political problems that surround this controversial subject. Cohen proposes that current immigration controls are so inherently racist and irrational that they require the creative dystopian ideas contained within George Orwellís Nineteen Eighty-Four to adequately describe them. Download the Order form


      Exiled Journalists in Europe

Edited by Rich Cookson, Mike Jempson and Forward Maisokwadzo; October 2005

This is a journalistic investigation designed to provide a snapshot of the support available for journalists living in exile in Europe. It examines the help and opportunities on offer in 11 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Much of the research has been carried out by exiled journalists based in these countries. It was published to coincide with a conference to launch the Exiled Journalists' Network, an independent body formed to provide advice, support and training for journalists who have fled persecution for collecting and disseminating facts and opinions in the public interest.

Download the 54-page report


      Housing Rights & Human Rights

FEANTSA, has just published a new book that sets out how to launch court cases based on human rights legislation. It aims to strengthen a rights-based approach in order to ensure decent housing for all. The book explains how we can use the trans-national human rights legislation to implement a right to housing at a national level. Padraic Kenna, the bookís author and a law lecturer at the National University of Ireland, said that homelessness organisations needed to be more aware of the potential of human rights laws. The book costs 10Ä and exists in French and in English. It can be ordered from FEANTSA by e-mailing your order to mary.fay@feantsa.org




      Magenta Foundation: Deputy Director

The Magenta Foundation is an international human rights NGO based in The Netherlands. Its projects include the Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe (ICARE), the secretariat of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) and the Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet (MDI). The Magenta Projects division is recruiting a full-time Deputy Director. For more details