Italy accused of racism against Gypsies

May 29, 2009 at 12:54 PM

ROME, May 29 (UPI) -- Amnesty International alleges in its new human rights report that Italy has embraced racism by not respecting the basic human rights of Roma Gypsies.

The non-governmental organization said Friday that by not taking action to protect Roma Gypsies that were targets of racially-motivated attacks in Italy, Italian authorities failed to respect the migrants' basic human rights.

Among the alleged illicit actions against the Roma Gypsy community was an assault on a pregnant Romani woman and unlawful forced evictions, the international group said in its 2009 global human rights report.

The organization also alleges Italy did not respond to alleged human rights violations that took place in connection with a program of renditions led by the United States.

The claim arose from Muslim cleric Abu Omar's allegation he was abducted in the Italian city of Milan in 2003 by CIA operatives and interrogated under duress.

Amnesty International also alleges Italy, which is conducting a trial regarding Omar's allegations, failed to adequately investigate allegations of abusive behavior by Italian law enforcement officials.

Among those allegations are claims of brutality by police officers during the 2001 Group of Eight summit in the Italian city of Genoa.

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