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Sinti and Roma people, 1941. Wikipedia

Bavarian police officers may no longer name ‘Sinti’ and ‘Roma’

The Inspector of the Bavarian Police, Harald Pickert, has called on his officials to employ a "sensitive use of discriminatory terms" in the service.

Published: August 7, 2019, 11:02 am

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    These include in particular the terms “Sinti” and “Roma”. The use of the terms “Sinti” and “Roma” as well as any substitute designations, for example “mobile ethnic minority” will no longer be tolerated.

    The terms are prohibited in all internal processes, personal data and searches, as well as in warnings or press releases. A statement Pickert sent to the heads of Bavarian State Police, has been obtained by Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit, outlining the ban.

    In interrogation, the ethnicity “Sinti” or “Roma” should also not be collected and stored, even on a voluntary basis. This applies to all names that are likely to discriminate against people. Instead, personal descriptions including nationality and the description of the crime (“Modus Operandi”) should be recorded as accurate as possible.

    Excluded from the scheme are cases in which the word “Sinti” or “Roma” is used as an insult against the community. Then the terms should be clearly used in police protocols.

    “Nevertheless, the Bavarian police should contribute to the strict avoidance of any form of stigmatization or discrimination against members of the ‘Sinti’ and/or ‘Roma’ ethnic groups,” Pickert noted in his letter, seemingly unaware of the irony of the ban.

    A spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of Interior confirmed the new administrative ban. “A use of terms that can have a discriminating effect, in principle, must be avoided in the context of police processing.”

    Discrimination against people because of their race, skin colour, descent, religious origin or way of life is prohibited by constitutional law. “The Bavarian police feels committed to their actions and demeanor and their self-image as well as with regard to historical responsibility, especially the protection of minorities, which is why they allow no stigmatization, categorization or generic names for people,” added the spokesman.

    Meanwhile in the German state, in the district court Eggenfelden, a SPD youth politician Valentin Kuby was sentenced at the end of November last year to a fine of 500€ because he called the AfD MP Stephan Protschka in a Facebook post a “Nazi”.

    In another case, the AFD member of parliament Steffen Königer was successful in May 2015 with a lawsuit in Potsdam, and the “Nazi” insult was punished with a fine of 800€.

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