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Another charged for intimidation of Romanians in Belfast

Combat 18’s hate-filled messages in circulation 23 June 2009: Even as the police in Belfast investigating the intimidation of Romanians have charged a 21-year-old man also, and the UN’s special rapporteur on migrant rights Jorge Bustamante is arriving in Britain after a week in Romania, the controversy on racist attacks refuses to die down.

‘Romanian gypsies beware, beware. Loyalist C18 are coming to beat you like a baiting bear’ is the warning that’s doing the rounds.

Combat 18’s hate-filled and menacing message was broadcast by text and email in Northern Ireland last week.

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed on the five-day visit of the special rapporteur, which follows series of protests in Belfast against a wave of recent violent attacks against Romanian migrant families.

Available information suggests special rapporteur Jorge Bustamante is scheduled to meet government officials, human rights groups and civil society members before presenting a report on his conclusions and recommendations to an upcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

So far, a 15-year-old youth, charged with intimidating Romanians in south Belfast, has appeared in a court. He was further charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, when an anti-racism demonstration took place.

He, along with a 16-year-old youth, was remanded on continuing police bail. They were arrested following a series of attacks and vandalism which forced more than 100 Romanian migrants to flee their homes. The duo cannot be named because of their age
District Judge George Conner, who warned against any identification of the youths, also made an apparent reference to the wider intimidation of migrant families.

He said: “I trust those responsible for this will be brought before the court.”

The 21-year-old, charged with intimidating Romanians in south Belfast, too is scheduled to appear at Laganside Magistrates Court.

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