Thursday, September 23, 2010

Romanian Parliament Condemns France's Roma Expulsion as Rights Violation

Romania’s parliament condemned the expulsion of Roma from France and other European states, describing it as a “serious violation” of European Union directives and human rights.

The legislators said expelling the Roma, as gypsies from Eastern Europe are known, violates “the right of free movement for all European citizens regardless of nationality or race,” according to an e-mailed statement today.

France’s policy has been denounced by the European Parliament, the Catholic Church and editorials in newspapers such as Le Monde, the Financial Times and the New York Times. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding compared the dismantling of illegal camps to events during World War II, though she later apologized for doing so.

French police were sent into the camps in July after travelers went on a rampage in central France. The riot was in response to a killing by a policeman during an identity check. More than 500 illegal camps have been dismantled in France since then, President Nicolas Sarkozy said recently.

The Romanian parliament requested President Traian Basescu and the government to “take all the political and diplomatic measures needed for protecting the rights of Romanian nationals as European citizens.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez in Prague

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