Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred A wall decorated with origami from colored paper in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca during the festival "No hate speech!", February 2014.

In 2013, the monitoring has recorded cases of Roma-phobic, Hungary-phobic and anti-Semitic threats and incitement to hatred. On January 15th Romanian party “autonomous nationalists” announced that rewards of 300 lei will be given to each Roma woman who voluntarily undergoes sterilization in 2013. On February 8th at the building of the Hungarian Embassy in Bucharest a spontaneous demonstration was hosted, the participants of which were Romanians who used abusive Hungarian slogans: “If you do not know Romanian, get out of here”, “Romania is my homeland, your’s is Mongolia”.

On February 9th, 2013, the walls of the Jewish cemetery of Timisoara, the third largest city in Romania, were painted with swastikas and “decorated” with slogans “Death to the Jews”.

Roma-phobic and Hungary-phobic slogans are regularly heard at the matches of FC “Steaua”. Party “Great Romania” supports two online publications «Revista România Mare» and «Ziarul Tricolorul», who publishes statements of the party leader V. Tudora against his political opponents and minorities.

On January 9, 2014, leader of “Great Romania” party George Funar stated on Realitatea TV channel, that the acting law that liberalises the sale of agricultural lands and allows its sale to foreigners can lead to “elimination of Romanian nation and disappearance of Romania as a country from the map of Europe”. “Great Romania” website contains articles aimed to “prove” that the Hungarians living in the Székely region and since 1940 have destroyed all traces of Romanian civilization, and earlier this land was exclusively inhabited by Romanians. Hungarians referred to as “the invading colonists” and expressed hope for the restoration “of the Romanian majority” in the province.

Transylvanian Hungarian People's Party was in favour of the autonomy of the so-called Székely region and the main language status for the Hungarian language in the territory.

On the other hand, on March 10, 2014, an unsanctioned large-scale march was held in Tigru Mures. Many thousands of Hungarians gathered to advocate Hungarian autonomy and protest the assimilation policy conducted by Romanian government. During the action, members of the far-right party “Jobbik” who arrived from Hungary chanted, “Székelyföld – is not Romania”, “Everyone in Bucharest is a gypsy”, and “Death to Trianon”. The action resulted in a clash between the Hungarian radicals, primarily from Jobbik, and the Romanian gendarmes.

On August 19, 2014, Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania proposed evicting ethnic Romanians from Transylvania, who are not willing to live alongside Hungarians.

Hate speech and incitement to hatred is so far not translated into votes. Economic problems seem to worry the general population more than nationalists’ agenda. On the other hand, leading parties have been known to “borrow” nationalist rhetoric from the extreme right. In 2014 European Elections, Great Romania party received 2.7% of votes. On Presidential elections, Mr Tudor received 3.68%, while Mr Funar received only 1%.

In the report on Romania in 2019 the European Commission of the Council of Europe on Combating Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) expressed concern on a number of issues, in particular the widespread problem of racist and intolerant hate speech, the inadequate response of the criminal justice system to hate crimes and discrimination against Roma and LGBT people. The Commission stated that racist and intolerant hate speech in public discourse and on the Internet has become a widespread problem, mainly directed against the Roma, the Hungarian minority, LGBT and the Jewish community. Violent attacks on these groups occur from time to time. The report notes the growing homophobic and transphobic climate in Romanian society.

ECRI was also concerned about alleged cases of racial discrimination and racial profiling by the police, especially against Roma, and that no independent body had been tasked with investigating such cases. These facts are well known, which also contributes to the spread of hatred. Other shortcomings are the lack of consistent and systematic data collection on hate speech and hate violence, almost never prosecuting these offenses, and rarely applying racist motives as aggravating circumstances. In addition, the report highlights that there is a serious problem of underreporting of such crimes.

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