IMG_0175Jena:Roma Initiative Thüringen: Report of Action Days July 25th – 27th and Call to the Public

We are Roma, refugees from Serbia, Makedonia…. Living now in refugee lagers in different regions of Thuringia. After consultations with Roma communities from Erfurt, Waltershausen and Gera we founded on June 8th, 2013 the „Roma Initiative Thüringen“. After initial demonstrations, this is now the first step to go public. These action days in Jena have communicated our Motto “The Roma way – Romengo Drom” througout Thuringia and beyond, and realised first networking with other refugees in the region. We, participants of the action days, are Roma from Jena, Greiz, Waltershausen and Eisenberg.In a public conference that took place on July 26th we heard reports from the different places:In Eisenberg is the so-called Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung, where refugees are transferred immediately after immigration. In this place, it is very difficult to get contacts and information. The local authorities use that isolation of the newly arrived people for deporting them by illegal means, without any asylum process as law prescribes. Especially for the Roma, Eisenberg is a center of deportation – it is even so that authorities organise the deportation of a person before she or he has been transferred there from immigration.One participant of the first action day, the 25th of July, has been deported the same night without previous announcement. We heard also that security forces of the Lager usually commit verbal and physical attacks to the refugees: As an example a 20 year old boy was intentionally husteled down the stairs by a security man. When he complained in the Lager, asking the responsible lady whether she would support such a treatment, she replied: “I am in my country and do not need anything from other persons.” On July 26th there was one more Roma deported, also illegally . In this act, security men prevented another Roma, who was present, from making a phone call – they forced him until he got hurt. Obviously, in Eisenberg illegal deportation is practised almost daily.We do not know whether our friends who accompanied us today in this last action day will be with us for the next weeks.Among the Roma in Jena, there are a 13 year old girl and a 19 year old boy. Both are living here yet for half a year, and for both the access to school (respectively in case of the boy, professional formation) is denied. Instead of a passport, the Roma in Jena get a white paper which is not recognised by the police in case of control.The Home in the Schulstraße in Jena is substantially better than its counterparts in Greiz and Eisenberg; the building is in good conditions and it has a good location in the town. Internet is at disposition. The Home’s director has a quite positive attitude towards the people. They do all the house cleaning by themselves, and obtain the necessary means from the Home. However, the Home restricts the refugees: It is a residential built for single people – that means that each family has just one room to live. Furthermore, there are rules and controls that a habitant of a normal apartment building would never be subjected to. The home’s director or alternatively a security man registers the identity of each visitor as well as the hour of arrival and depart. Around the house there are eight cameras, two of them pointing to the courtyard. In conclusion, the controls and cameras define the Home as a Lager.The medical situation is precarious and tends easily to be critical: All refugees have once a month the right for one Krankenschein which is valid only for one doctor. If during that time a visit to second doctor becomes necessary, refugees must solicit it at the Sozialamt. This latter tends to deny those solicitations; in any case this authority claims the decision for itself, with higher priority than the doctor’s opinion or the patient’s concern. For them, a normal dental care is not in reach – the only treatment authorities pay for refugees is extraction of a tooth in case of pain.Madam Vesna Janković, who lives in Greiz in the Home has serious health problems. During her stay of two months in Eisenberg her pains were ignored so long by the responsibles until she developed a beginning sepsis and had to be brought in urgency to a hospital in Jena. In an immediate operation, one of her kidneys was extracted. She was then transferred to Greiz. Soon after that she got fevers as well as an infection at the operated site. She lives in the lager under bad hygienic conditions. In spite of her illness she is obliged to constantly clean her surroundings, because her family shares the bathroom with 7 single men living on the same floor. In this manner she cannot prevent new infections. She feels very unwell, and has little forces – she urgently needs a surrounding where she can reestablish. We demand for her an immediate medical rehabilitation and a normal apartment for her and her family.The general situation for refugees in Greiz is worse than in Jena. There still exists the system of coupons, where the people get no money in their hands but just these coupons giving a restricted choice of goods and are restricted to a specified supermarket. This coupon system stigmatises the refugees. For Thuringia, presently it is valid in Greiz and Apolda. It must be abolished.Roma People did never hold a state of their own and thus is looking back on a history of centuries of persecution. The history of damnation of Roma People in German Nazi times never concluded in an adequate socio-political debate although a Roma memorial has been inaugurated in Berlin.In the official statements of the minister of Interior Friedrich as well as in the mainstream media the Roma’s wish for a normal life without persecution and discrimination is being distorted into a negative meaning. They impose on us the image of an “economic refugee” who “wants to benefit from Germany”. That discourse is a discrimination! Hasn’t every human being the right to live and work under humane conditions? This is a question of basic rights, of equal participation in the society. We call on the local habitants to recognise our fight – and to join it. To defend basic rights is good for all of us! But where those rights are violated and people are excluded, the community suffers serious damage.Through these our first actions we have advanced a step to a better definition of our point of view within the socio-political discourse about the social exclusion of Romain Germany and as to impeach the ongoing structural refusal of accepting regular asylum applications.We strongly demand:


  • regular asylum cases for all Roma People!
  • stop deportation and forced “voluntary” exit!
  • life free of persecution and discrimination!
  • abolishment of the “Residenzpflicht”-law!
  • out of the lager! housing with privacy for all!
  • equal accessibility to education and working permits!
  • free access to full medical treatment!

All together we demand for our right of self-determined living! We want to strengthen the solidarity within the Roma and refugee community as well as within the German society. Roma Community in solidarity with the “Break Isolation” movement! Freedom for all Deportation Prisoners! It has been almost 70 years since Nazi Germany stopped us Roma People on our way for a better life destroying everything in it. It’s time to raise in the 21st century to get back on the road of self- determination as to bring back our dignity we lost and the justice we never experienced.With our initiative we want to reinforce solidarity – as well in the Roma and refugee community as within the German society! We call on the responsibles in the German authorities and on the politicians in Thuringia to act in the sense of “The Roma Way” in Thuringia: Stop deportation of Roma – the freedom of movement is an important right for all! Freedom for all deportation detainees!

Roma Initiative Thüringen, Lager GU, Asylbewerberheim, Schulstraße 11, 07749 JenaPressekontakt: Muharem Komina +4915215424882 (Konversation in Englisch)

Email: roma.thueringen @

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