The ERGO Network signalized the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI)

12 May 2016

Recently Bulgaria has become a stage of very disturbing and openly racist manifestations against Roma people. The 17-years-old Mitko has been brutally beaten for saying that “Roma” and “Bulgarians” are equal. Although the video of the incident became viral in social media and was shared thousands of times, the crime was not recognized by the regional prosecution as a “crime motivated by hatred” but as a “hooliganism”. A week later, in the city of Radnevo appeared a new conflict related to Roma: thousands of citizens were encouraged to come out and to protest against the Roma living in their town.

Amid all this, internet users were able to read the hate-speech of the Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki from the European Conservatives and Reformists Parliamentary Group. On his personal facebook page, Angel Dzhambazki openly threatened those who are fighting for justice for Mitko and who took part in the hashtag campaign #RomaAreEqual: “We will show you how to tie a noose. Measures according to the client” (25. 04.2016). On the occasion of 8 April, the International Roma Day, Angel Dzhambazki has posted: “The Gypsies are celebrating their holocaust. If this was not sad and pity, it would have been funny” (7 April 2014) – just a month before to become a member of the European Parliament. However, becoming MEP did not prevent Dzhambazki MEP to use hatred in his speeches. With regard to the last conflict in Radnevo he openly incited for a civil war: “#RomaAreEqual keep their civil war against us, the Bulgarians”, “I believe that the rope is the best reward for them”, “Gypsy genocide”, “War is war” (4 May 2016).

Other statements of Dzhambazki MEP are openly homophobic and directed against Muslims.   

Highly alarmed by the fact that a Member of the European Parliament uses his post to spread hate speech against the most discriminated groups of Europe, the ERGO Network alarmed the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). As a result, a letter signed by the Co-President of the ARDI, Soraya Post MEP was sent to the President of the European Conservatives and Reformists Parliamentary Group, Mr. Syed Kamall and the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz:

Dear Syed,

I am writing to you as a fellow Member of the European Parliament and as Co-President of the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) to draw your attention to racist, xenophobic and homophobic speech by Angel Dzhambazki MEP, a member of theEuropean Conservatives and Reformists group. Please see the documents attached.

Mr. Dzhambazki has in the past few weeks openly called for a civil war against Roma in Bulgaria in an article authored by him as well as engaged in hate speech online against Roma people, Muslims, and LGBTI people. 

Therefore, I would urge you to take immediate action against Mr. DzhambazkiSuch behaviour which is clearly hate speech should not be tolerated and should be sanctioned by the ECR group. His actions are all the more irresponsible and dangerous given that he is a Member of the European Parliament and the current context in Europe where the rights of non-discrimination and equality have come under attack. 

Racism and xenophobia are direct violations of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. It is imperative that all of us fight intolerance, and I hope you take action.

Yours sincerely

Soraya Post MEP

Co-President of ARDI

The ERGO Network insists that MEP Angel Dzhambazki and any other MEP, who is using hate speech are being immediately sanctioned and insists for a rigorous mechanism that allows civil society to report such MEPs so they can be effectively penalized. A hate speech leads to another hate speech and it is an incitement for taking a hatred-motivated-actions. Such irresponsible behaviour is against the European Union's fundamental values: “respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law” and those who do not respect these fundamental values should not have a place in the European Parliament. The ERGO Network will keep following the topic.  









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