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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gypsy Rights Defended

WARSAW () -- The Council of Europe called on governments Wednesday to safeguard the human rights of gypsies, suffering from centuries-old discrimination and persecution.

"Their political, economic and social rights should be defended and guaranteed. Gypsies are one of the most exposed and vulnerable minority groups," Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Peter Leuprecht, told reporters in Warsaw.

He said gypsies, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, were facing problems relating to their citizenship rights and faced violence, prejudices and economic problems.

Leuprecht said human rights organizations had reported cases where authorities in Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia did not protect gypsies from attacks. "The police remained inactive when gypsies were beaten and their houses burnt.