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ERRC Challenges Danish Expulsion of EU Roma

6 September 2010

Budapest, 6 September 2010: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has filed appeals against deportation orders issued to 10 Romanian Roma by the Danish Immigration Service with the Danish Ministry of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs. The appeals, filed on 3 September 2010, follow the arrest of the Roma concerned during police actions targeting 23 EU Roma in Copenhagen on 6 July 2010 and their collective deportation from Denmark to Romania the very next day.

The 6 July arrests and the deportations came in the wake of statements by high ranking public officials in Denmark calling for measures to rid Copenhagen of “criminal Roma,” including by Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen and Danish Minister of Justice Lars Barfoed.

In the appeals the ERRC argues that all 10 deportation orders violate EU law and international law. The EU’s Free Movement Directive guarantees all EU citizens the right to reside in any EU Member State for three months without any conditions other than holding a valid passport or ID card. It also sets stringent conditions for removing EU citizens for reasons of public health and public order. The ERRC argues that when considering the grounds for deportation in each of these cases, Danish authorities failed to undertake a proper, individual assessment. The ERRC also argues that the group treatment amounts to collective expulsions in violation of Article 4 of Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 19.1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter).

The appeals also address discrimination on part of Danish police and immigration authorities in singling out Roma as targets for police actions, arrests and subsequent deportations – in violation of the ECHR,  the Charter and the Free Movement Directive.

Robert Kushen, Executive Director of the ERRC, stated that “These illegal expulsions of EU citizens from Denmark bring to mind the recent actions of the government of France against EU citizens of Romani origin.  We hope that the Danish justice system will send a strong message to France and the rest of the EU that racially based law enforcement and immigration policies will not be tolerated.”

Further information on the mass arrest of the Roma in Copenhagen in July is available on the ERRC website.

For more information, contact:
Sinan Gokcen,
ERRC Media and Communications Officer,
sinan.gokcen@errc.org,
+36.30.500.1324

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