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A Slaughter of Roma ("Gypsies")

by Petar Makara (Makarov) and Jared Israel

[Note from EC: This article was written in the summer of 1999. The layout has been improved but the content is the same.
-- Jared Israel, 6 February 2003]

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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 Kosovo.

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 Discovered 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 labeled 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 Egyptian Muslims all guilty of attacking ethnic Albanian Muslims out of religious hatred? Are the loyalist ethnic Albanians, numbering one third of the Albanians in Kosovo - are they anti-Albanian racists too?

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

For the Roma it is just like World War II

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.

History.

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 sanitized 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 shipwreck, 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 article 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 Apple."

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 languages, 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 comprises 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?

    -- Petar Makara & Jared Israel

    ***

    The following text was received by email from the Roma News Network. We have not altered the text. Since it was written by people for whom English is a *third* or *fourth* language, it includes some errors we have not corrected. - JI

    ========

    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 Kosovo."
    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 nation.

    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 Macedonia.

    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.  

    Donation Bank Account
    Stopanska Banka a.d.Skopje
    Broj na smetka:40100-620-42 € 20625
    ZPP-Kumanovo- 40900-678-6121
    Roma Community Center "DROM"Kumanovo
    Lokalitet serava prizemje 7a, 91300 Kumanovo
    Tel.fax:++38990127558

     Kumanovo 07.07.1999
    Asmet Elezovski is Board member of the Roma National Congress Emails:
    asmet@romanatioanlcongress.org

    Note from the editorial office:
    Germany's Hotline on Kosovo Refugees in Germany, they said they will provide help in finding family members.
    Telephone: + 49 911 943 77 77

    RomNews is published by the Roma National Congress on a Non- commercial basis European Central Office:

    Simon von Utrechtstr. 85 D - 20359 Hamburg, Germany
    URL:
    http://www.romnews.com

    Emails:
    Editorial Office:
    editorialoffice@romnews.com
    Send News to:
    news@romnews.com
    Comments:
    comments@romnews.com
    RomNews Network:
    rnn@romnews.com
    Moderator Listserver:
    m.knudsen@romnews.com

    ITEMS PUBLISHED IN ROMNEWS ARE COPYRIGHT OF THE RNC
    PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE ROMNEWS NETWORK / RNC WHEN QUOTING.

     

    *************************************
    JUDGMENT! Video Exposes the Phony 'Death Camp' Pictures that Fooled the World
    [ To Order JUDGMENT! Skip to End of Text]
    *************************************

    In August 1992, millions of people were shocked to see photographs of a supposed Bosnian Serb death camp.

    The photos were produced by ITN, the British TV news giant, from footage shot by an ITN film crew which spent 15 hours in Bosnia.

    Most of the photographs featured a tall, painfully thin man, stripped to the waist, apparently penned in behind barbed wire.

    Travelling with the authorization of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, the ITN crew filmed at a detention center in Omarska and a refugee center in Trnopolje. The ITN photos were broadcast worldwide beginning August 6th, accompanied by sensational captions and comments.

    For example Ian Williams, one of the journalists who accompanied the ITN crew, appeared on U.S. Public Television's MacNeil-Lehrer Report on August 6th. Mr. Williams referred to the Trnopolje refugee center as a "camp," as in concentration camp, saying it was "at the center of allegations of atrocities." Williams claimed that:

    "Conditions at this camp were appalling. In 100 degree heat hundreds of men were forced to eat and sleep outside in the field behind barbed wire."
    -- MacNeil-Lehrer Report, 6 August 1992

    And indeed, the ITN photos seemed to show people living outside, caged like animals behind barbed wire. But Mr. Williams knew this impression was false. He knew the Muslim refugees were moving about freely, that it was the ITN people who were filming from inside a small barbed wire enclosure. He knew the ITN pictures had been doctored to create the illusion of a death camp. This is *proved* in the Emperor's Clothes video, 'JUDGMENT!'

    How can 'JUDGMENT!' have proved this?

    By luck, a news crew from Serbian State Television (called RTS) covered the ITN visit. They went wherever ITN went, filming what ITN filmed and filming the ITN crew as well. Thus there is a visual record of what the ITN people did and what they actually saw. Using this footage, the 'JUDGMENT!' video shows, step by step, how pictures of a humanitarian refugee center at Trnopolje were transformed into 'death camp' photos that fooled the world.

    The 'JUDGMENT!' video proves that Ian Williams, now the UN correspondent for the NATION magazine, and other journalists who traveled to Bosnia with ITN, lied to the public.

    Mr. Bush Responds with Superhuman Speed

    On 6 August 1992, just *20 minutes* after the pictures were released, George Bush held a press conference at a Colorado Air Base:

    "Reports say that 20 minutes after the ITN footage was shown in the United States, President George Bush changed his hands-off policy and promised to 'press hard for quick passage' of a UN Security Council resolution authorising the use of force in the Balkans."
    -- "The Straits Times, August 16, 1992
    "Holocaust images of Bosnia prison camps make the West sit up," by Lee Siew Hua

    Bush demanded that the Serbs be harshly punished, including:

    "tighten[ing] economic sanctions on Serbia so that all understand that there is a real price to be paid for the Serbian government's continued aggression."

    Bush also announced that the U.S. would recognize Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia as independent from Yugoslavia. He thus approved the break-up of Yugoslavia and guaranteed that the Bosnian war would continue.

    Consider the remarkable speed with which President Bush reacted.

    Some photos are shown on TV.

    Immediately, President Bush contacts his cabinet members, who, coincidentally, have also seen the photos.

    They confer. Somehow they determine that the pictures are genuine.

    They contact leaders of, at least, Germany and England, possibly other countries. They plan draconian anti-Serb measures including economic sanctions that will cut Serbia off from the world.

    They contact congressional leaders. They agree that Bush will announce the US intent to recognize no fewer than three new Yugoslav secessionist states.

    They call a press conference at a Colorado Air Base. They write a press release. They compose Mr. Bush's statement.

    The mass media receives the press release. Film crews travel to the Air base and set up their equipment.

    And all this is done in...20 minutes?

    Isn't it more likely that the timing of the TV broadcast of these pictures was coordinated between ITN and either the State Department, the CIA or some similar body? That Bush scheduled his press conference to be held just after the pictures were shown so ordinary people would believe that these terrible pictures compelled President Bush to endorse extreme measures?

    Perhaps ITN's trip to Bosnia, supposedly to "investigate claims that concentration camps had been set up" (Strait Times), was planned from the outset as a hunt for footage which could be used to produce such doctored evidence.

    ITN had a prior history of aggressively anti-Serbian coverage of the break-up of Yugoslavia. So one might ask, why did the Bosnian Serb leadership give ITN access to Trnopolje and Omarska, about which the Western media (for example, NEWSDAY, 21 July 1992) were already spreading nightmare tales? Perhaps they hoped that if they just let the ITN people see for themselves, ITN would be fair. They did not comprehend the moral standards of the people with whom they were dealing.

    Get a copy of 'JUDGMENT!' If after viewing this video you don't think we've proved our case we'll refund every penny.

    We cannot bring back the dead. However, we can honor them by telling the truth.

    Purchase 'JUDGMENT!'

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