German border authorities refuse entry to Roma

On at least two occasions in the past six months, German border authorities have refused entry to Czech and Slovak Roma, despite the fact that there is no visa requirement for Czech or Slovak citizens to enter Germany. On January 28, 2000, the Czech Press Agency reported that German border officials at the Rozvadov/Waidhaus crossing had again hindered around one hundred Roma from Slovakia from crossing the Czech-German border. The Roma had been travelling to the Netherlands. According to the Prague-based commercial television station Prima, the German border police explained their actions as motivated by their view that “the Roma were not sufficiently trustworthy.” The Roma travelled in the buses back to Prague. In an earlier case, the Czech Press Agency (ČTK) reported on October 29, 1999, that a group of twenty-four Roma travelling by bus from Prague to London had been turned back the same night at the Rozvadov/Waidhaus border crossing by German police. “They did not fit the condition for transit, according to which each of them has to carry 100 German marks for each day of stay,” stated the spokesperson of the Czech Customs Police in Plzeň Helena Sucha. The Roma — mainly from Žatec and Karvina — stated that they had enough money.

(ČTK, Prima)

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