Praxis Watch

Monday, 15 September 2014

Anti-Roma Graffiti Removed after Nine Months

The graffiti It’s no use of having a mass when you are Gypsy race was written on the wall of the post office in Nis-based settlement “9 May”. The employees of the post office did not know how long the graffiti had been there. Because of the graffiti, in July 2013 Praxis filed a petition to the Department for Public Utility Services, Energy and Traffic of the City of Nis against an unknown person for writing the graffiti which insults and discriminates against the members of Roma ethnic minority.

The petition was immediately forwarded to Public Enterprise Directorate for the Construction of the City of Nis, which removed the anti-Roma graffiti in April 2014, after Praxis reaction. Since the post office is located in the centre of the settlement, nearby the bus station, green market and a school, the graffiti was noticeable on the wall looking at the street before it was removed.

The lack of immediate reaction of the competent authority implies that the hatred message had not been taken seriously by the competent authorities, but that they permitted that members of Roma ethnic minority be exposed to discrimination and hate speech throughout a long period of time.

The level of tolerance in society is still low, which is additionally supported by slow reactions of competent authorities and the fact that perpetrators remain unknown and unpunished. 

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