Wiesenthal Centre to St Denis Mayor: "Kick out Racism Before End of World Cup, Call Off Deportation of Roma Gypsies"

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Paris, 6 July 2010

In a letter to Didier Paillard, Mayor of Paris suburb of St. Denis, Dr. Shimon Samuels, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, noted, “A shantytown, Hanul, in your city St-Denis, that has been home to over 150 Roma Gypsies for the last ten years, is to be demolished and the residents forcibly removed. With so many Parisians on vacation, the deportation is expected to go by with muted public and media reaction.”

The letter continued, “As Mayor for the last two years and a City Counsellor in preceding years, you are well aware of the miserable conditions in Hanul,” ... and,  “as a Communist Party leader in a city known for its anti-Nazi resistance under Vichy, you are surely aware of the deportation of Roma to the death camps, even from France.”

The Centre urged the Mayor “to condemn, and use your authority to call off a neo-fascist-style ethnic cleansing brewing in your city and provide police protection to the Roma targetted.”

“Join our campaign to ‘kick out racism’ before the end of the World Cup Final this week,” concluded Samuels.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158