The editor-in-chief of a national Romanian newspaper has been fined for racism
Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) decided to sanction Grigore Cartianu,the editor-in-chief of the national newspaper Adevarul (The Truth) for a racist article against Roma. The journalist was accused by three organizations defending Roma rights, the Roma Journalists Association, Romani CRISS and Civic Alliance of Romanian Roma, of bringing serious offenses to Roma communities in an editorial published late last year. The article was titled “The Gypsy putsch” and, as it is obvious from the title, had racist undertones that led the Roma organizations to file a complaint with the National Council for Combating Discrimination.
“European political leaders must be appaled by the cohorts of gypsy princess and gypsy boys that have taken over their cities, wreaking havoc on Western streets after the opening of international borders. You know how it works with these dark-skinned people: they cling to you, ask for money, insist, become aggressive, swear at you, spit at you, tear their shirts off, lift their skirts, and steal your wallet. They light fires in front of Notre-Dame and on Champs-Elysées to celebrate their weddings. And when a policeman tries to intervene, he is sprayed with a jet of milk gushing from the breast of a Gypsy woman”, the Romanian journalist writes in his article. “The gypsy feast has lasted too long, destroying the summer of the Romanian nation. There will be other waves of Gypsies, but it’s hard to believe that there will be another one as large as this in the near future”, the author thinks.
Six weeks after filing their complaints, the leaders of the three Roma organizations and Cartianu were summoned for hearings at the National Council for Combating Discrimination. After having heard both sides, the members of the Council decided that certain passages of the above-mentioned editorial undermine the dignity of Roma communities in Romania. The editor-in-chief and the newspaper who published this article were fined 1000 RON each (250 euros).
The Council also decided that the message of the editorial written by Grigore Cartianu affected the dignity of Roma and that it “aims to create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility, directed against the Roma community. Such negative and reprehensible behaviors affect the Roma community as a whole”.
Speaking about the decision, president of the Romani CRISS Marian Mandache declared that “the NCCD decision is a premiere for Romanian journalists. To my knowledge, this is the first time when a journalist received a punishment for racist statements against a minority. I hope that the NCCD’s decision will be an example to all other journalists in Romania who hold racists views”.