A Slaughter of Roma ("Gypsies")

            by Petar Makara (Makarov) and Jared Israel

            NATO claims it is bringing liberal democracy to Kosovo.
            Western citizens are comforted by a lullaby press: all is well,
            the Serbs are finally at bay.

            Reality begs to differ: NATO troops prevent armed
            self-defense while the KLA and special NATO forces terrorize

            Non-Albanians are murdered or expelled. The same for
            Albanians who have been loyal to their country, Yugoslavia.

            While plastering every "unconfirmed report" of a mass grave
            as proof of New Serbian War Crimes Discoverd all over Page
            One, newspapers give little coverage to the slaughter and
            expulsion of Serbs which is happening under their reporters'
            noses. When mentioned, attacks on Serbs are labelled
            revenge; this morally charged word is employed to defuse
            outrage. (We call this sort of thing "Lying by Suggestion.")

            But the newspapers never mention the Slavic Muslims, ethnic
            Turks or Egyptians and the vast numbers of loyalist ethnic
            Albanians attacked by the KLA, driven out, beaten, killed,
            their homes looted, burned. They don’t mention these people
            because a) the very existence of these people is evidence of
            the multi-ethnic character of the Serbian state, which is not
            conceived as a state of Serbs, but a union of 26 different ethnic
            groups (you never read THAT in the NY Times) and because
            b) the fact that all these non-Serbs are under attack
            invalidates the suggestion that the Kosovo Liberation Army
            (KLA) is motivated by a desire for revenge.

            Are these Slavic Muslims, ethnic Turkish Muslims and ethnic
            Egypitian Muslisms all guilty of attacking ethnic Albanian
            Muslims out of religious hatred? Are the loyalist ethnic
            Albanians, numbering 1/3 of the ALbanians in Kosovo - are
            they anti-Albanian racists too?

            Sounds a little odd. Better not to mention that these people

            For the Roma it is just like World War

            And the newspapers almost never mention the murderous
            expulsion of the Kosovo Roma ("Gypsies"), which is taking
            place as you read this, more terrible by the hour. The reason
            they don't mention the Roma is because mentioning the Roma
            might remind people of a very ugly seven letter word.


            When the Italian and German Fascists took over Kosovo and
            merged it with Albania during W.W. II (from whence comes
            the KLA's longing for a "greater Albania") they were
            extremely successful in recruiting ethnic Albanians. The
            Fascists' hatred for Serbs and Roma struck a chord among
            ethnocentric Albanians. The KLA, directly descended from
            these W.W. II Albanian Fascists, has a special hatred in its
            heart for the Roma.

            Once in a while some news about the Roma does get out.
            When it does it is usually presented with attention to Political
            Hygiene: the contaminated facts are isolated and sanitised to
            lower the risk of contagion.

            Consider today's (7/7/99) New York Times. The truth is
            mentioned in a shy way, on page A12. The article in question is
            so small it can be covered with several postage stamps. We
            call this "Lying by Position;" a newspaper buries the truth in a
            place where only the obsessive few will discover it.

            The Times' title is:

            "700 Gypsies reach Italy"

            "Gypsies reach Italy." What does this convey? Couldn't the
            "700 Gypsies" be ordinary immigrants, or survivors of a ship
            wreck, or tourists? Or, given the word "Gypsies", mightn't
            readers recall the well-known tendency of the Roma to travel
            in caravans? Perhaps a romantic journey is described within,
            complete with colorful skirts and flashing black eyes, you
            know, something suitable for a musical comedy?

            How many people will notice a tiny article on Page A12? And
            of those who chance upon it, how many will read past the
            innocuous headline?

            Few. And fewer still will read through to one of the last
            sentences, where the artcile finally comes to the point:

            "Much of Pec's Gypsy quarter [Pec, dear reader, is in
            Kosovo] has gone up in flames…those [Gypsies] arriving [in
            Italy] today accused the Kosovo Liberation Army of burning
            their homes."

            The truth is saved, for last.

            What's News?

            Isn’t it news that 700 Roma people have been expelled from
            Kosovo after their homes were burned down by NATO's ally,
            the KLA?

            Doesn't such news belong on Page One? Isn't the headline,
            which is the only thing many people read, completely
            misleading: "700 Gypsies Reach Italy." Doesn't this headline
            hide rather than reveal the truth? We call such headlines
            "Lying by Euphemism." The headline is literally true - 700
            Roma people did reach Italy. But the truth is used to
            communicate a lie, just as one might give an article about
            Newton's famous experiment the headline: "Man drops

            What if the Times' editors had instead chosen the headline:
            "Gypsies, Burned out by KLA, reach Italy?" What if they had
            put the story where it belonged, on Page One? Wouldn't it
            have had an entirely different effect?

            (By the way, the Roma people loathe being called "Gypsies,"
            which is a racist term. Is this unknown to the great experts at
            the New York Times?)

            What ever happened to the NY Times which exposed the
            Pentagon Papers and My Lai, the newspaper once considered
            the protector of our nation's integrity?

            The following post is from the Roma News Network. It is
            reprinted below unchanged and in its entirety. (The article
            includes errors in grammar and syntax. Keep in mind that
            these folks speak two, three or more lanaguges, and English is
            probably not the first…) The following excerpt makes a telling
            political point:

                 "The [current] genocide of the Roma is not the first
                 case, they always followed by a pro-fascistic ally
                 oriented armies who were pointed and still are, toward
                 clean ethnical states.

            In World War II, the "fascistic ally" was ethnic Albanians, in
            groups like the League of Prizen, who enslaved and
            slaughtered Serbs, Roma and others to achieve an ethnically
            pure state; the fascist armies were the Italians and Germans.
            Today, the fascistic allies are the members and supporters of
            the KLA.

            But who comprise the fascist armies? Could the Roma be
            saying NATO is a new, fascist army? And could the Roma,
            scorned by the Albanian Racial Supermen, just as they have
            always been scorned by the Racial Supermen who have
            tormented our poor species, be right on the money?

            ==== A message from Roma News Network ========

            Kumanovo / MACEDONIA ( RNN Correspondent ), July the
            7th, 1999. The end of the war in Kosovo was accepted with big
            joy on the Balkan. But it can't be said for the Serbs and the
            Roma from Kosovo. The Roma people from Kosovo are sad
            now with presence of big revolt, because every war was
            bringing great troubles to them. Military and political targets
            of NATO, and the Albanians are fulfilled, the information on
            the media tell us about coming of real democracy, where every
            citizen no matter what color of skin, sex or religion can work,
            create and show his opinion with freedom. For the Albanians
            from Kosovo, the war has to bring new future. But it can't be
            said for the Roma from Kosovo.

            Everyday Roma from Kosovo are forced to flee from their
            homes - the cities Prizren, Gnjilane, Pristina, Urosevac and to
            settle in the inner parts of Serbia - Belgrade, Nis, leskovac,
            Bujanovac. Over 500 Roma in Pristina are exposed on
            frequent attacks of Albanian revolted groups, the
            representatives of KFOR [NATO troops] are protecting them,
            there are unofficial information about some Roma people
            killed and maltreated women. All those information are coming
            from the Roma refugees and some foreign independent
            journalists are confirming it. There are no official information
            about the Roma sufferings, this is not the first time of course,
            Roma people were not the first time of course, Roma people in
            the camps during the war. The only official information was the
            one of June 6 th after incident in the camp Stenkovec in
            Macedonia when Roma refugees from Kosovo were beaten by
            the Albanians. Everything is the same now, Roma people are
            beaten, killed, forced to flee from their homes.

            One refugee from Pristina (50 years old) said:
            "I ran away from my home where my grandfather lived,
            everything I had was over there, where will I go with my
            family, what shall we do I don't know. Everything that we want
            is a little truth for the Roma people, we didn't want the war but
            we are the victims. It is impossible for me to go back." There
            will be no Roma for very short time in Kosovo, those who will
            be Albanians on their documents no matter if they like it or
            not. I haven't had any conflict in the recent period on the hand
            are not similar, the same is with the people, there are good
            Roma, Albanians, Serb, but there are bad too. Those who
            made the bad things have to be tried, but all the Roma or
            Albanians or Serbs can not be bad." I will try to go Germany,
            France, these are the nests of real democracy they say, and
            maybe as Roma I won't have the problems that are current in
            Albanian refugees from the camps and the families they were
            accommodated in Macedonia are going back to Kosovo. Only
            the Roma are afraid to go back after the information about the
            pressure on them in Kosovo, the maltreatment's and beatings.
            The Roma refugees don't know what will happen with them.
            When will come the time for their coming back, or when will
            the state-UNCHR take them home. They can not leave to the
            European countries, faced with big uncertainty. Roma people,
            problem in Kosovo Great worry they made to us because our
            informing is not a description or review of some happening
            detail from the culture of the Roma. Our informing is
            considered as crime, miss fortune that a compassion of all
            Roma in the world. Informed on the mass leaving or
            deportation of the Roma from Kosovo, the program
            coordinator of Roma Community Center "DROM"
            Kumanovo €Ramis Osmanovski together with the outer
            collaborator €Martin Demirovski, we made a visit of
            Bujanovac, Serbia. On 25.06.1999 the representatives of
            "DROM" Kumanovo have made on inspection of the field or
            visit of the Roma who flee from the regions of Kosovo, more
            exactly from the cities Gnjilane, Urosevac, Podujevo etc.
            During the few hours visit of Bujanovac, Serbia they had
            spotted the following facts: Organized or little groups of Roma
            in the region Gnjilane, Urosevac, Podujevo are leaving in the
            southern region of Serbia. The basic and unique reason why
            Roma people are leaving their homes is the aggression done
            by the Albanians, more correctly KLA. Great pain and
            problem was the interviewing of those Roma people. Some of
            them were not able to give such interview because of their bad
            emotional and physical condition. We have spotted the great
            sorrow, worry and injuries of those people.

            Our first interviewer, 30 years old R.B from Gnjilane, we could
            hear its own story and it ran like this:
            "coming back from the bus-station toward my home, a group
            of Albanians wearing black trousers and T-shirts with the sign
            of KLA on their shoulders came in front of me. They told me
            to go with them.We went toward their headquarters. When we
            came there three soldiers of KLA- started to ask questions
            whether I'm carrying a gun, and if I don't have one do I know
            someone in my neighbor hood or somewhere around with a
            gun. Since I didn't have such information with a gun. Since I
            didn't have such information and I myself didn't have a gun
            they continued with their maltreatment and they started to
            beat me with metal stick. I didn't know who was possessing
            guns and therefore they started to beat me so severely that I
            couldn't for 4 days neither with my legs nor with my hands.

            Second case driving is about one 32 years old Roma who was
            driving his car to Gnjilane to see his family. The same guy was
            stopped by a KLA-OCK group and beaten so much that his
            body was full of injuries, he was beaten over his sex organ
            even. The wounds ands injures were still recognizable. Such
            cases of beaten Roma them were in big number. In this
            moment in Bujanovac 3500 Roma refugees who have left their
            homes under pressure of the so called KLA of Kosovo. Roma
            Community Center "DROM" Kumanovo sentences this act of
            cruelty and crimes against the Roma from Kosovo, it
            sentences the Albanians political and nonpolitical movement
            which in this moments doesn't have any respect toward our

            Our organization proclaims sentence to their silence too, which
            is maybe a license for such act of aggression and maltreating
            by their so called KLA. The genocide of the Roma is not the
            first case, they always followed by a pro-fascistic ally oriented
            armies who were pointed and still are, toward clean ethnical
            states. Because of it, we ask for urgent and efficient access
            this problem that means fast organizing of humanitarian help
            consisting food and clothes, forming of camps for accepting
            Roma refugees form Kosovo, cooperation of international
            humanitarian organizations. Along with the relevant factors
            UNCHR should take part too, representatives of the Roma
            and Albanian movement in Kosovo and Macedonia.

            On the other hand we would like to inform you that Roma
            Community Center "DROM" Kumanovo already works on
            finding a solution for this problem. In the same time we acting
            and turn to you for coordinated acting and collaboration with
            all relevant institutions, for the general aim of helping the
            unsecured Roma and creating conditions for mutual life of all
            nations existing in Kosovo.

             Activities of Roma Community Center "DROM" The
            representatives of the organization are watching the situation
            of Roma refugees in Macedonia and Europe every day. In
            Poland, Czech R, Slovak, Hungary there are Roma accepted
            as refugees, accommodated in camps, and they afraid to
            communicate with Roma and Roma organizations in the
            countries where they are. The representatives of DROM:
            Ramis Osmanovski and Martin Demirovski went to some
            cities in Yugoslavia, nearer to the border with Macedonia.
            They considered the situation of the Roma refugees from
            Kosovo, it is very delicate difficult, those people don't need
            food but a solution for their actual situation, how and where to
            go on? It is impossible for Roma representative of some Roma
            organization to go to Kosovo in this moment. In the next days
            Roma will meet new problems, larger number of Roma
            refugees from Kosovo are expected to enter Serbia and

            The Roma organization from Macedonia, the Roma member
            of the parliament Amdi Bajram, the mayor of Suto
            Orizari-Nezdet Mustafa, are still actively working and acting
            in giving help to the Roma refugees from Kosovo located in
            Macedonia.RCC"DROM" Kumanovo is providing help
            continuously and further on for the Roma refugees and the
            social cases in Kumanovo. Some help is received from the
            Makedonski Centar za medjunarodna sorabotka MCMS,
            Karitas-Essen with residence in Skopje. The help received
            from one Roma organization from Australia was big relief in
            giving help to the Roma. In this moment 3000 Roma from
            Kumanovo together with the refugees are covered, they will
            receive help consisting of food and hygienic means. Foe 2115
            Roma some help is received from MCMS, for 200 along with
            the refugees form Karitas Essen and for the rest the help is
            provided by on Australian Roma Organization. Roma people
            on Balkan are going to meet very hard days, months, they
            appeal not only humanitarian help but finding a way,
            actualization of the Roma problems in front of the world
            institutions because it is the unique way to the Roma future.

            Dear friends, in period of 10 days, I wasn't able to give
            information, more correctly I took part following a conference
            in Sofia where the following topics were discussed:

            Sofia, 17-19 June
            |In Sofia, from 17-19 June was held Balkan conference
            dedicated to the situation of Roma (Roma refugees from
            Kosovo, the situation of Roma in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria,
            Romania, Macedonia. Croatia, Slovene, Bosnia). Under the
            organization of Human Rights Project from Sofia the
            conference succeeded big interest, let's mention as a reminder
            the big number of representatives of Roma organizations,
            foreign media, representatives of European governmental
            (OSCE-Nicolae Georghie, Petar Atanasov-Concil of Ministry
            of Bulgaria, Josephine Verspaget- European Center-
            Budapest) and other organizations.
            The panel discussions were consequences and the actual
            situation of Roma. By the representatives of Yugoslavia,
            Roma refugees from Kosovo, Roma representatives from
            Roma NVO s (Roma Center Skopje, Avutnipe-Skopje,
            CC"DROM" Kumanovo, Martin Demirovski contact
            point-OSCE Macedonia) all the participants were acquainted
            with the problems the Roma people are faced with. All the
            participants presented very similar information, Roma people
            are discriminated, Roma are banished, and killed. The
            representatives of the European Council for Roma Questions,
            Ms. Josephine Verspaget, said that they don't have enough
            information for from presented things. The Roma refugees
            from Kosovo at their presenting said that they want to go back
            to Kosovo, in their homes, but now it is impossible because the
            Albanians are full of revolt and hate upon them. To go to some
            other countries is impossible, some terrified, Roma are
            declaring themselves as Egyptians. The world institutions,
            foundations, humanitarian organizations have made only few
            contacts and helped the Roma refugees from Kosovo. The
            Roma question is treated more by the non-Roma, they prepare
            projects, seminars and conferences with very small developing
            effects on the Roma. Such example is Kosovo, as long as the
            war was on there wasn't such big interest for the Roma, and it
            appears for realization of the aims of non-Roma. Because of
            the bad situation of the Roma from Balkan, a conclusion was
            brought for Roma refugees and it runs:" Help is needed
            urgently, security and respect of the uman rights as a unique
            conditions to stop the discrimination and racism toward Roma,
            proclamation rights status of

            Roma as a nationality, political rights for the Roma refugees,
            safe return in informing for the Roma refugees, starting with
            debates on the rights of the Roma refugees. The mentioned
            conclusion will be sent to NATO,OSCE, European Council,
            UNCHR. From 21-24 June in Poland Roma National Congress
            held its board- meeting where the situation of Roma in
            Kosovo, Balkan and Europe was discussed. Many decisions
            were made with general aim of finding urgent and effective
            solutions for many present problems. The member
            organizations of RNC got acquitted with the decisions made
            and they activities for improving the situation of Roma people
            in Europe.

            Along with the beginning of the war in Kosovo, RCC"DROM"
            Asmet Elezovski started with giving information on Internet
            (http://www.romnews.com) About the situation of Roma on
            Balkan € Kosovo. After two days only many
            information's came from one side of the world (Australia, USA)
            to another (England, Sweden). I thought my information won't
            be interesting and people won't pay attention to it at all. I
            haven't slept for so many nights, I was giving my best, I was
            seeking for real information, information that can be accepted
            as true. The information were changing every day, I was
            writing reports and very soon in day or two my information
            were officially approved. Thanks, to the RomNews Network ,
            and the Editor in Chief Marko D. Knudsen and his team we
            succeeded to give, information with quality, objectivity and
            truth to the world. Few foreign radio stations presented my
            interviews in live. How sad and terrified I was because of the
            war and the suffering of Roma people. But in the same time I
            was very cheerful because of the fact that Roma succeeded to
            inform for themselves, to make a benefit on their own. We
            made big efforts and labor, spent a lot of money on telephone
            calls, travels, but we, me and my friends from DROM, don't
            regret a thing, because we succeeded to give information from
            Roma people, actual and true in the same time. Dear friends, I
            will work on the field of giving information to people further
            on, but I wish if it is not war. I thank to all of you for your
            support, to my friends from RCC"DROM" most of all to my
            college interpreter Oki and to the Editor in Chief of the
            RomNews Network €Marko D. Knudsen.