An article came out in the district newspaper Red October (October district of Homiel region) calling citizens to display vigilance
Police warns that often elderly people and pensioners fall victims to criminals, the web-site of the Viasna human rights center reports.
How to avoid scams and other crimes? Via the newspaper police gives advises, first of which is as follows: “Beware of the people of Gypsy nationality, who attempt to get into your dwelling under any excuse (fortune-telling, sales of goods, purchasing of domestic animals, to get a drink of water) and steal money and valuables”.
Also pensioners are advised to lock up their houses, not to trust strangers etc. The list of the necessary security measures and measures on how to save property gets interrupted with yet another reminder: “Special concern arises on the matter of possible crimes against this group of people by citizens of Gypsy nationality”.
To conclude, police writes: “In the case people of Gypsy nationality appear in settlements, suspiciously looking social workers or housing and communal workers, please, immediately report to police on the short number 102”. So now not only the Gypsies are under suspicion, but also social workers or housing and communal workers?
We would remind that Homiel human rights activists Maryja Klimovich and Ales Jausiejenka repeatedly brought up at all levels the problem of the discrimination of the Gypsy people. Several years ago the chief ideologist of the Homiel region in a response to the human rights activists promised that newspapers editors will see that no nationality was mentioned of criminals or suspicious persons. A response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that “explanations are continuously made among the staff aimed at preventing the mentions of race, ethnic or religious characteristics of criminals in public speeches”.
Belarusian legislation forbids discrimination along any attribute – race, nationality etc. Although, articles like “Careful, Gypsies” keep get published in newspapers.