Evicted Roma to meet “Dazhynki” in marquees

2013 2013-09-10T16:27:39+0300 2013-09-10T16:28:05+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/rushniakou_sirgej.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Ruined house of Siarhei Rushniakou in Lebiadziouka. Photo by svaboda.org

Ruined house of Siarhei Rushniakou in Lebiadziouka. Photo by svaboda.org

On 5 August we wrote about the forced eviction of Roma from a village near Zhlobin due to the upcoming festival “Dazhynki”. Seven bad-looking houses, illegally built by the Roma 25 years ago, were ruined by the local authorities and now are being buried in the ground. The Roma families have to seek refuge all over the Homel region. Some of them intend to put marquees in place of the destroyed houses.

A middle-aged Roma who had lost his home, says with regret: “We will live where we will have to – what can we do?” We have been living there for twenty five years. We started gathering documents for the houses. But they came and started dismantling them!”

Pensioner Siarhei Rushniakou says that after losing his home he found asylum in the village of Belitsa, about ten kilometers away from Zhlobin:

“I was given two days to move out of my home. We have been living there for twenty five years. It is all because of “Dazhynki”.

72-year-old Tamara, whose house was one of the first to be ruined and buried in the ground, says she moved to her relatives, but intends to put a marquee in place of the dismantled house. Her relatives moved away in different directions. “Not far from us there lived a woman suffering from diabetes. She had two children and her husband was a cripple . They had to go to the village of Ivanauka, somewhere near Homel. The poor pensioner had to collect her rags, left them at a Roma place and went away somewhere.”

Vita Yeudakimava, whose house was ruined as well, cannot hold grudge:

“If we are Roma, are we dogs? Not people? You can not do that! We need to take our children to school, but were evicted. Did they do right? Wrong! They treated us like pigs. It wasn't done so during the war. It is like shooting to the people. They have been kicked out into the street before the winter! They planted potatoes, had their own vegetable gardens and now don't have anything at all. They were left between heaven and earth."

The deputy head of the district executive committee on the issues of construction refused to comment concerning the forced eviction of the Roma from Lebiadziouka without any financial compensation or giving any premises instead of the dismantled ones:

“I won't answer any questions. You can file an official inquiry if you want, then we will give an official answer.”

The leader of the Belarusian Roma Diaspora Aleh Kazlouski said that Zhlobin Roma hadn't applied to the public organization for assistance.