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Notícies :: pobles i cultures vs poder i estats
Rogo di Livorno (Fire of Livorno): liberty and justice for Victor and Menji
28 set 2007
The fire of Livorno: Italian citizens kill four Roma children, but the Italian authorities jail their parents instead. Gruppo Everyone is promoting a petition for their release and against the racism of Italian institutions.
âWe have carefully analysed the dynamics that led to the deaths of four Roma children in Livorno and we are now able to affirm that it was a case of racial murder. The murderers threw a petrol bomb and then ran away,â? say the leaders of Gruppo EveryOne, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau.

The representatives of Gruppo EveryOne explain that there is evidence and testimonies to back up their claim, and ask for the immediate release of the parents of the young victims of the fire that broke out among the huts under a flyover in the suburbs of Livorno on the night between Friday 10th and Saturday 11th August.
As well as witness statements and claims of responsibility from a group of racists, the fireman found a molten bottle neck among the ashes of the huts. Glass cannot melt in a fire (500 degrees centigrade), but does melt in the case of a Molotov cocktail (petrol reaches a temperature of 2200 degrees centigrade and glass melts after a temperature of 1200) In spite of this evidence, the authorities have decided not to look for the killers (a group of local people from Livorno maybe) and instead to imprison the fathers of the young victims, Victor Lacatus and Menjii Clopotar. Separated from their wives, who are under house arrest in Cecina (one of them in a psychological condition that deteriorates day by day), the two men are still detained in prison. Victor, devastated by pain over his loss, and worn out after the hardships of imprisonment, has attempted suicide twice. Menjii has run out of strength . In spite of this, the magistrates are keeping them in jail. âThey are treating them like animalsâ? say the leaders of Gruppo EveryOne.

They have been accused of âabandonment of minorsâ? because they chased after the killers, and when they got back they found the huts on fire. It was no ordinary fire, but an impenetrable wall of fire, caused by a petrol bomb. Obviously the accusation is unfounded, it is the umpteenth violation of the Romaâs and Sintiâs human rights in an Italy that is proving to be more and more racist. If we consider the level of discrimination against the Roma and Sinti in Italy, we must expect for them the maximum sentence, and a long detention in inhumane conditions, seeing Italian prisons are authentic concentration camps for the Roma, as reported by Amnesty International.

The pressure on the parents is terrible and there is a real risk that they will be forced to withdraw their statements and confess to any crime in order to interrupt the persecution in any way possible. âThey lost their children while trying to protect themâ?, Jasmine, a nomad tells us in tears, âbut they threw them into prison as though they were criminalsâ?.

The city seems prey to hatred against the Roma. At the childrenâs funeral many people, instead of offering their sympathies, expressed contempt. Some even said. â?Just as well, thatâs four gypsies less.â?

Gruppo EveryOne is leading an international campaign pressing for the intervention of politicians, intellectuals, human rights organizations and activists. We are in constant contact with the mayor, and the town council, we have sent the results of our investigations to the authorities (a courageous newspaper did publish our report, while others papers and TV channels, even Left-wing ones, have ignored our findings and criticised the parents). One of our leaders has been subject to heavy intimidation, which is a further sign of arrogance and prejudice.

Considering the gravity of the case, Gruppo EveryOne, has urged Avvocato Callaioli, the lawyer, to obtain permission for a well-known (and courageous) psychiatrist, Dr Anna Maria Davoli Cassanese, to visit the murdered childrenâs fathers to see whether their psychiatric condition is compatible with imprisonment. The lawyer knows how urgent it is to put in a request to the magistrate so that precious time is not wasted and the assessment is carried out as soon as possible.

It is time Italy stopped its persecution of the Roma and Sinti, persecution that has lowered their life expectancy to the age of 47, compared to 80 for Italian citizens: in other words, a genocide.

The tragedy of the Roma parents appears even sadder when we consider that both the Lacatus and the Clopotar families underwent numerous deportations during the Holocaust where parents and children were gassed in Auschwitz and other death camps. Members of both families underwent interrogation and were unjustly imprisoned. The judges had already written out their sentence on the grounds of the prejudice that had surrounded the Roma of Europe for centuries.

Today we can prove that we are different. Gruppo EveryOne and the âAmici degli Angeliâ?, the group of associations, activists, intellectuals, political figures and everyday people who have got involved in the case of the Roma children, have initiated an international petition for the release of the parents of the young victims of the fire in Livorno. To sign the petition visit:

You write letters or postcards characterize them to the two parents in prison. They think next to the suicide like to a liberation and every letter, every postcard will help them to believe.

Victor Lacatus c/o Casa Circondariale di LIVORNO âLe Sughereâ?, via

delle Macchie, 9 - 57100 Livorno â Italy - tel: 0586.853044 fax:

0586.863859 e-mail: cc.livorno ARROBA

Menji Clopotar c/o Casa Circondariale di LIVORNO âLe Sughereâ?, via

delle Macchie, 9 - 57100 Livorno â Italy - tel: 0586.853044 fax:

0586.863859 e-mail: cc.livorno ARROBA

For Gruppo EveryOne: Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau
Mira també:

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