French police evict Roma camp leaving 150 homeless

Aug. 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM
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PARIS, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Amnesty International criticized police in France for breaking up a Roma camp outside Paris, leaving 150 people, including 60 children, homeless.

Amnesty International said a researcher was in the community when police entered the encampment about 6 a.m. Tuesday and forced inhabitants to leave without allowing them to collect property or telling them where they could go for shelter.

The camp is situated on three parcels owned by different people. Eviction orders for the encampment were prepared for those living on two of the three parcels but the entire camp was cleared, including those who lived on the third parcel and weren't included in the eviction order, Amnesty International researcher Marion Cadier said.

"This morning, I saw entire families being rendered homeless and forced to leave everything behind. People did not know what to do or where to go," Cadier said. "It is unacceptable that a year on from the inter-ministerial circular, hundreds of Roma families up and down the country are made to face the same fate over and over again. It's time for France to stop forcibly evicting people, and to respect international human rights law."

Cadier pointed to an inter-ministerial memo on proper procedures for police to follow in addressing Roma encampments. Cadier said police failed to follow many of the directives. International law states evictions of roaming ethnic groups such as Europe's Roma can only take place with proper notice, the availability of replacement housing and reimbursement for any property lost as a result of the eviction.

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