Homel police enumerates Roma, asking about their nicknames

2013 2013-03-26T20:35:38+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/cygany.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The staff of Savetski district police department of Homel are reportedly visiting houses and apartments of Roma residents and checking on their personal data. The policemen ask about the distinguishing characteristics of each person, and require to include not only their names, but nicknames, as well.

“We thought that the police were simply scoffing at us and said that nicknames are only for animals. But the police department employees showed us the application form that they were given, and there really was a column “nickname”. It’s just crazy,” say representatives of the Roma diaspora.

Meanwhile, Homel human rights defenders Maryia Klimovich and Ales Yauseyenka have for a long time corresponded with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, urging the police chiefs not to discredit the Roma on ethnic grounds in the media, when providing criminal statistics.