Over the past two weeks, the international community has been deeply affected by a tragic incident of obstetric violence against a Romani woman in Serbia, resulting in the heartbreaking loss of her newborn baby girl. We, as protesters of the international community, Romnja, feminists, activists, and allies, unite to condemn this shocking and traumatic act, demanding justice for the affected Romani family.

Marica Mihajlović, a Romani woman from Serbia, endured a harrowing experience in a Serbian hospital. The circumstances surrounding her childbirth can only be described as a severe case of obstetric violence. Her testimony reveals a series of aggressive, violent and racial insults and acts, including physical abuse by the attending doctor.

Marica’s account, shared on social media and across national media outlets, describes hours of induced labor without access to care. Despite desperate pleas for a C-section, the doctor not only ignored her calls for help but also resorted to physical violence, including hitting her, squeezing her jaw, and making threats. Shockingly, the doctor performed on Marica the Kristeller maneuver without her consent, a practice condemned by the World Health Organization (WHO) if applied nonconsensually or with excessive force.

This traumatic experience left Marica Mihajlović seriously injured, and tragically, her newborn, Elena Novakov, suffered complications that led to her untimely death shortly after birth. Disturbingly, a testimonial from another Romani woman from Serbia suggests that this incident is not an isolated case involving the same doctor, nor is it the first time such abuse has allegedly resulted in the death of a newborn. 

Furthermore, we reference here another recent case from July 2023 in Romania, where another Roma woman was refused the right to proper healthcare, resulting in her giving birth on the pavement in front of the hospital. 

These situations underscore the urgent need for widespread reform, aimed at addressing systemic issues within healthcare systems that perpetuate discrimination and unequal access to healthcare for Roma communities.

We, the undersigned, express our deep concern and call for immediate action from the Serbian government. We demand a just and thorough investigation into this case, holding the responsible obstetrician accountable for their actions. Additionally, we urge the government to provide full support to the grieving family and to investigate the potential presence of racial motives in the incident in question. When examining the incident, officials or investigators should strongly consider the possibility that the actions were influenced by racial bias against the Roma ethnicity. 

Furthermore, we call on the Serbian government to support organizations and individuals fighting against obstetric violence, gender-based violence, women’s rights, and racism in the country. We demand concrete measures to prevent similar cases from occurring in the future. Furthermore, we reference here another recent case from July 2023 in Romania, where another Roma woman was refused the right to proper healthcare, resulting in her giving birth on the pavement in front of the hospital. 

Acknowledging that this is not a uniquecase nor an isolated incident, we emphasize the urgent need to address structural racism and obstetric violence against Romani women. This situation reflects a broader pattern of discrimination informed by interlocking systems of oppression,and systemic failures within maternity and reproductive care. This abuse must not go unnoticed or unaddressed, and we demand a swift response from the authorities to rectify this deeply distressing situation.


  1. Aldessa Georgiana Lincan, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  2. Alba Hernández Sánchez, Roma Feminist, Spain
  3. Svetlana Kostić, Roma Feminist Activist, Berlin
  4. RomaniPhen, Feminist Romani  NGO Berlin
  5. Ioanida Costache, Roma Feminist Activist, Stanford, California, USA
  6. Marina Csikos, Roma Feminist,  Hungary
  7. Isidora Randjelović, Romani Feminist Activist, Germany 
  8. Amdrita Jakupi, save space e.V. Cologne
  9. Dr. Joanna Talewicz, Foundation Towards Dialogue, Poland
  10. Hajdi Barz, Romani Feminist Activist, Germany 
  11. Maria Dumitru, Roma Feminist, Romania
  12. Tayo Awosusi-Onutor – Author, singer, entrepreneur, Germany 
  13. Sebijan Fejzula, Roma anti-racist activist and scholar 
  14. Sabina Salimovska, Children’s Rights activist, Germany 
  15. Ana Victoria Amador Vargas, Roma feminist activist, Spain 
  16. Romina Ecaterina Grigore, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania 
  17. Simona Torotcoi, Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent, Romania
  18. Terezia Rostas , Care for Young People’s Future – Roma Cultural Consultant Romnja Transform – United Kingdom 
  19. Maria Atanasova – Romani Feminist Activist, a trained Midwife, Bulgaria
  20. AMUGE, Association of Roma Basque Women.
  21. Romi Berriak, Intercultural Association of young Roma women, fighting for social justice and equality. 
  22. Roma Center e.V./ Roma Antidiscrimination Network
  23. Antonella Lerca Duda, Roma Trans Activist, Romania
  24. Pepi Fernandez Camacho, Roma Feminist Activist, Spain
  25. Dr. Petra Bakos, CEU Vienna/Budapest
  26. Alexandra Corcoveanu,Roma Queer Feminist Activist,Romania
  27. Gwendolyn Albert, human rights activist, Czech Republic
  28. Selma Muhič, Charles University, Czech Republic
  29. Sandra Carmona Durán. Roma feminist activist
  30. Nikola Ludlová, cultural worker, historian, Romani studies scholar, Czech Republic
  31. Veronika Čechová, cultural worker, art curator, Czech Republic
  32. Association of Roma Novi Becej, Vojvodina Serbia
  33. Roma Women´s Centre.”Rromnjako Ilo” Zrenjanin, Serbia
  34. Association of Roma “Danica” Pancevo, Serbia
  35. Assciation Roma Women of Palilula Borča, Belgrade, Serbia
  36. Markéta Bártová, National Film Archive, Czech Republic
  37. Zuzana Šrámková, cultural worker, Czech republic
  38. Lamija Čehajić, cultural worker, Czech Republic/Bosnia and Herzegovina
  39. Nerea Casanova León, Spain
  40. Miljana Čabrilovski, Human Rights Activist, Serbia
  41. Senada Sali, Legal Director, European Roma Rights Centre 
  42. Irina Novac, feminist activist, Romania
  43. Karina Kottova, cultural worker and feminist, Czech Republic
  44. European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO Network)
  45. Fundacja Jaw Dikh, Poland 
  46. Elżbieta Mirga-Wójtowicz, Centre of Migration Research, Warsaw University
  47. Jelena Silajdžić, Slovo 21, z.s., Czech Republic
  48. Christine Sudbrock, Senior Programme Manager ERGO Network, Belgium
  49. Regional Roma Educational Youth Association-RROMA, North Macedonia 
  50. Hamida Giyasbayli, Journalist, Azerbaijan 
  51. Lynsey Kavanagh, Co-Director, Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre, Ireland 
  52. Hülya Çokşen, Activist, Türkiye
  53. Hemra Nida, Journalist working on Roma rights, Turkey
  54. Roma Active Albania
  55. Sıfır Ayrımcılık Derneği-Zero Discrimination Association, Turkey
  56. Ahmed AHKIM, Roma and Travellers Mediation Center, Belgium
  57. Amaro Drom e.V. – Germany
  58. Anabel Carballo-Mesa, ERGO board member, Spain
  59. Statache Alexandra, queer activist cultural worker, Romania
  60. Sarah Werner Boada, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick, UK / Radical Mothering Research Collective
  61. Elena-Bianca Galusca, FAGiC (Roma federation) Spain
  62. Dr. Zuzana Havirova, Roma advocacy and research centre, Slovakia 
  63. Tuba Akın, Roma Rights Activist, PhD Student at UIUC, Illinois , USA
  64. Liliya Makaveeva, Integro Association, Bulgaria
  65. Romano Centro, Austria
  66. Dominika Badzova, a journalist 
  67. Slobodan Stanković, Serbia
  68. Sri Kumar Vishwanathan, Life Together, Ostrava, Czechia
  69. Stelina Dungaj, Roma Feminist Activist, Albania
  70. Michelle Mila Van Burik, India ki Rasta, Netherlands 
  71. Margareta Merenciana, Salonica, Netherlands 
  72. Tsonko Tsonev, attorney, Bulgaria
  73. Nica Georgiana Anca, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  74. E-Romnja Association for Promoting Roma Women Rights
  75. Dinu Elisa, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  76. Calin Lacramioara, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  77. Gusa Estera, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  78. Dinu Lucia, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  79. Voinea Laura Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  80. Dinu Anisoara, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  81. Vasile Marica, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  82. Nicolae Luiza, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  83. Gheorghe Mirela, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  84. Caldararu Natalia, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  85. Barna Ioana Valentina, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  86. Ela Craciun, Feminist Activist, Romania
  87. Feminism Romania, feminist NGO, Romania
  88. Roxana Oprea, Roma Feminist Activist, Romania
  89. Kamila Fiałkowska, Centre of Migration Research, Poland
  90. Milen Milanov, school teacher, Bulgaria
  91. Siobhan Spencer Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group UK. 
  92. Daniela Mihaylova, Equal Opportunities Initiative Association, Bulgaria
  93. Tudorina Mihai, feminist and social justice activist, Romania
  94. Sevđulje Ramadani, Serbia
  95. Ciara Bradley, Associate Professor, Dept. of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University 
  96. Adriana Radu, SEXUL vs BARZA, Romania
  97. Ioana Țurcan, independent artist, Romania
  98. Florentina-Alexandra Manea, Roma Feminist activist, Romania
  99. Alexandra Ana, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Atelier Genre(s) et Sexualité(s), Université Libre de Bruxelles
  100. Proca Camelia, Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender-A.L.E.G., Sibiu, Romania
  101. Curechian Teodora, Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender-A.L.E.G., Sibiu, Romania
  102. Hogea Gabriela, Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender-A.L.E.G., Sibiu, Romania
  103. Gall Eniko, Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender-A.L.E.G., Sibiu, Romania
  104. Vlad Viski, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  105. Ana Mohr, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  106. Andrei Purice, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  107. Maximilian Androne, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  108. Mădălina Bădărău, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  109. Simona Ionescu, SPICC Association, Romania
  110. Sergiu Marinescu, MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania
  111. Maria José Jiménez, Roma feminist anti racist activist, Gitanas Feministas, Spain
  112. Sefora Jiménez Jimenez, Gitanas Feministas, Spain
  113. Sara López Olvera, Roma feminist activist, Spain
  114. Ana Cortés Campos, Gitanas Feministas, Spain
  115. Mădălina Branduse, Actriță/Activistă feministă, Romania
  116. Raj Alexandru Udrea, Queer Activist Live Artist, Romania
  117. Andrei Serban – Roma, Activist, Acting Works Association, Romania
  118. Tereza Jindrová, cultural worker, art curator, Czech Republic
  119. Luiza Medeleanu, Roma researcher, Romania
  120. Bogdan Burdușel, Roma activist, Romania
  121. Paca Moya García, Feminist and mother`s rights activist, Spain
  122. Elena Mihalache, Roma women, Romania/Poland
  123. Dr. Delia Grigore, președinta Asociației Centrul Rromilor “Amare Rromentza”
  124. Patricia Hamilton, Lecturer, University of York, UK / Radical Mothering Research Collective
  125. Romani Godi- Roma Memory Studies Association, Turkey
  126. Fatoş Kaytan, Romani Godi, Turkey
  127. Liliana Ene, Roma researcher and activist for the rights of women and mothers, Romania
  128. Sarah Kaddoura, Haki Nasawi/Feminist Talk, Lebanon-Palestine
  129. Maria Zaslavsky, MA Central European University
  130. Alina Medoia, feminist, Romania
  131. Alexandra BANU, (Katarina del Rey) civil rights activist, Romania
  132. Maya Gutmann-McKenzie, full-spectrum doula, Rhode Island, USA
  133. Equinox initiative racial justice, Brussels

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