Protestbrief, 20 november 2003

Auteur: Harry Westerink

Protesteer tegen illegale sterilisatie van Roma-vrouwen!

De Fabel van de illegaal heeft met onderstaande brief aan de minister-president van Slowakije geprotesteerd tegen de illegale sterilisatie van Roma-vrouwen in Slowakije. Gedwongen sterilisatie van vrouwen is een bevolkingspolitiek instrument in handen van machthebbers die ten gunste van kapitalistische en patriarchale verhoudingen de kwantiteit en "kwaliteit" van de bevolking zoveel mogelijk willen beïnvloeden.

Wil je ook een protestbrief schrijven? Doe dat dan aan:

Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda
Namestie Slobody 1
81370 Bratislava

Meer informatie? Neem contact op met het landelijk bureau van Amnesty International: 020-6264436

Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda
Namestie Slobody 1
81370 Bratislava

Leiden, the Netherlands, 20-11-2003

Your Excellency,

With this letter we, the anti-racist organisation De Fabel van de illegaal in the Netherlands, want to express our concern about the allegations of forced sterilization of Romani women in Slovakia, which have recently come to light. De Fabel van de illegaal supports migrants and refugees. We strongly condemn the illegal sterilizations, because they violate the reproductive rights of women.

According to our information the government of Slovakia has launched an investigation into illegal sterilization of Romani women. We are concerned that this investigation has been problematic in the following respects. It appears to have reached hasty conclusions before investigating all relevant crimes in connection with sterilization. Also the investigation ignored key evidence, including absence of informed consent. And it has created an intimidating atmosphere for victims that has tended to dissuade them from coming forward. As a matter of utmost urgency, victims, witnesses and human rights defenders must be protected from harassment and intimidation.

We urge you to investigate all cases of alleged illegal sterilization throughout the post-communist period in all hospitals throughout the country. And we urge you to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the past, as well as present, sterilization practices. It is furthermore crucial to examine the circumstances under which consent to such sterilization was given and not to rely solely on a a signature as evidence of consent. Lastly, we urge you to criminally prosecute those responsible for violations, including - but not limited to - all cases where sterilizations were preformed on minors without the consent of the legal guardian, as required by Slovak law. It is of utter importance that your government acts upon this matter and ensures that victims receive appropriate compensation.

For years, Romani people all over Europe are treated like second-rate citizens. Often they are excluded from the rest of society, in a racist way. We ask you to speak out against this racism and to support the emancipation of Romani people.

We look forward to your attention to this matter and to your response.

Yours sincerely,

on behalf of De Fabel van de illegaal,

Harry Westerink