Paris, 6 July 2010

In a letter to Mayor of Paris suburb of St.Denis, Didier Paillard, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels, noted that “a shantytown, Hanul, in your city St-Denis, that has been home to over 150 Roma Gypsies for the last ten years, is to be demolished and the residents forcibly removed.

With so many Parisians on vacation, the deportation is expected to go by with muted public and media reaction”.

The letter continued “as Mayor for the last two years and a City Counsellor in preceding years, you are well aware of the miserable conditions in Hanul.” 

The letter noted that “as a Communist Party leader in a city known for its anti-Nazi resistance under Vichy, you are surely aware of the deportation of Roma to the death camps, even from France.” 

The Centre urged the Mayor “to condemn, and use your authority to call off a neo-fascist-style ethnic cleansing brewing in your city and provide 
police protection to the Roma targetted.” 

“Join our campaign to ‘kick out racism’ before the end of the World Cup Final this week,” concluded Samuels.