POLITICS

CNCD checks whether Roma poisoning in Baia Mare is criminal case or discrimination

The President of the National Council against Discrimination (CNCD), Asztalos Csaba, says his institution has not taken action in the case of the Roma moved to the Cuprom facilities in Baia Mare, analysing whether it is a situation of discrimination or a criminal action that put people’s lives at risk.‘We have not taken action so far because we are analysing whether this is a case of discrimination or a criminal case putting people’s lives at risk. We believe it is more a criminal case endangering the lives of people than it is a case of discrimination in a restricted sense. We are trying to establish if our institution has jurisdiction or not,’ the president of CNCD stated at an anti-discrimination conference at the Palace of Parliament yesterdayOn the other hand, he said CNCD publicly condemns what happened in Baia Mare. ‘Of course, we publicly condemn what happened in Baia Mare. It’s a good thing that a mayor wants to give Roma homes. But, if the project is not prepared in detail and they are moved to improper homes, then, of course, if people’s lives are in danger, it is a decision that was poorly implemented and that has even created a debate in the EU,’ Asztalos Csaba also said.The press has reported that the Baia Mare Municipality, on the evening of June 1, moved several hundred Roma from the Craica area to facilities formerly used by the decommissioned Cuprom plant. Some of them accuse Mayor Catalin Chereches of moving them to improvised homes, some of which reportedly still housed hazardous chemical substances. Several Roma children and adults were taken to the local hospital after claiming to become sick after inhaling chemical substances. Three NGOs – Romani CRISS, Equal Opportunities and the ‘Together’ Humanitarian Association – have sent an open letter accusing the ‘inhuman action’ of the Baia Mare Municipality. The letter is addressed to the Romanian authorities as well as to the Ambassador of the United States in Bucharest, Mark Gitenstein, the Ambassador of Denmark, Michael Sternberg and European Commissioner Janez Potocnik.

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