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Protest greets Gašparovič in Iceland

ICELANDIC activists from Amnesty International (AI) staged a protest during the official visit of Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič to Iceland on September 20. The demonstration was targeted against what they called violation of the human rights of Roma children in Slovakia.

ICELANDIC activists from Amnesty International (AI) staged a protest during the official visit of Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič to Iceland on September 20. The demonstration was targeted against what they called violation of the human rights of Roma children in Slovakia.

According to Iceland Review Online, the internet version of Iceland’s English-language magazine, the mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, was among the people outside the Icelandic parliament challenging Slovakia’s record on human rights.

“The Icelandic division of AI has sent a letter to the prime minister, foreign minister, the president of Iceland and MPs encouraging the Icelandic government to bring human rights violations against Roma children in Slovakia … to the Slovak president’s attention,” Iceland Review Online quoted from an AI statement.

The protest was a part of an international campaign ‘Give them a future’ which promotes equality in education for Roma children, said Martina Mazúrová, the campaign’s coordinator for AI Slovakia, as reported by the SITA newswire.

According to a report prepared last year by AI, thousands of Roma children are sent to ‘special’ schools or to schools for children with mental disorders, or are assigned to study in exclusively Roma schools or classes.

Gašparovič met his Icelandic counterpart Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir and Speaker of Parliament Ásta Raghneidur Jóhannesdóttir during his two-day visit to the country. Among other topics, he discussed Iceland’s EU integration ambitions.


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