Amnesty International criticizes Romania for Roma discrimination, for involvement in CIA secret prisons programme

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In its annual report on human rights, Amnesty International criticizes again Romania for the Roma ethnics’ situation. “Roma continued to experience systemic discrimination, forced evictions and other human rights violations. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence entered into force in September. A public hearing was held in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case against Romania for complicity in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes, but a ruling in the four-year-old case remained pending,” the report reads.

Main issues revealed by the report:

  • In his April report, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights called on the authorities to acknowledge the severe discrimination against Roma, to implement the 2015-2020 Roma Inclusion Strategy and take targeted measures in education, health care and employment, including the introduction of legal safeguards against forced evictions and improved access to social housing. In June, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights raised similar concerns.
  • The monitoring mechanism required by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Romania in 2011, was created but was not operational at the end of 2016.
  • Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national currently held in the US detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had lodged an application against Romania in 2012 alleging that he was forcibly disappeared and tortured at a secret CIA detention centre in Bucharest between 2004 and 2006, and that Romania had failed to effectively investigate his secret detention. The hearing came after the Council of Europe Secretary General summarily closed in February 2016 its Article 52 inquiry into European states’ involvement in the CIA operations – a severe blow to accountability. The Romanian government denied the allegations and argued an investigation was ongoing.
  • Amnesty International also criticizes Violence against women and girls. According to General Police Inspectorate data – quoted by the report – 8,926 cases of domestic violence were registered in the first six months of 2016 – 79% of the victims were women and 92.3% of the aggressors were men.


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