FUEN condemns the vandalism and provocation happened in the Uz Valley Hungarian military graveyard in Romania07.06.2019
Hundreds of Romanians broke into a graveyard of Hungarian war heroes in Úz Valley (Valea Uzului in Romanian), a Transylvanian village on 6 June 2019 to lay wreaths at the illegally erected stone crosses of Romanian war heroes purportedly laying in the World War I Hungarian-Austrian military graveyard. The violent crowd broke through the police cordon and the live chain formed by a peaceful gathering of the members of the Hungarian community trying to protect the graveyard. They tore down the gate and broke into the cemetery to hold a commemoration, all while vandalizing several of the Hungarian graves, making provocative chants and throwing stones at the Hungarians present.
The Úz Valley graveyard, where the fallen heroes of WWI and WWII battles lay, was established by Austrians and Hungarians in 1917. It belongs to the majority Hungarian Transylvanian village of Csíkszentmárton/Sânmartin Ciuc in Hargita/Harghita county. The council of Dormănești/Dormánfalva, a town in Bacău/Bákó county illegally set up concrete crosses and a memorial of Romanian war heroes in the cemetery in April 2019.
Despite all competent Romanian authorities declaring the actions taken by the council of Dormănești/Dormánfalva illegal, and despite the fact that the cemetery was legally sealed, the village council announced the inauguration of the Romanian war memorial for 6 June. Hungarians gathered at the graveyard holding each other’s hands and praying to keep the Romanian crowd entering into the graveyard, while the gendarmerie was also called out. None of this succeeded to stop the break-in.
FUEN strongly condemns the violence of the crowd, which it regards as an attempt to instigate ethnic conflict in a region that already saw interethnic violence in the aftermath of the regime change and considers that this incident puts the interethnic relations and geopolitical stability in Romania at risk. Any escalation of the present situation should be avoided.
FUEN considers this incident a violation of minority rights and urges the Romanian government to do anything in its power to protect the cultural heritage and the symbols of the minorities and to find a satisfying solution to the present conflict.
The FUEN also calls on the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union to take a stand for the respect of democracy, rule of law and minority rights in Romania.
Photo credit: MTI, Nándor Veres
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