Italian Authorities Threaten Roma from Kosovo and Other Parts of Serbia and Montenegro with Expulsion

22 February 2005

On February 17, 2005, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) sent a letter to Mr Giuseppe Pisanu, Italy's Minister of the Interior, and Mr Giuseppe Caruso, Questore di Palermo (Police Commissioner), expressing concern about reported threats by Italian authorities to expel Kosovo Roma and/or Roma from other parts of Serbia and Montenegro from Italy to their country of origin following an early morning raid on the Favorita Romani camp in Palermo. The ERRC urged Italian authorities to cease all action threatening the expulsion of Roma and/or other persons regarded as "Gypsies" to Kosovo or other parts of Serbia and Montenegro and to provide the persons at issue with a durable legal status until such a time as the persons concerned may voluntarily return to Kosovo with dignity in light of the continued threats facing Roma, Ashkaelia, Egyptians and others regarded as "Gypsies" in Kosovo. Copies of the letter were sent to Mr Ruud Lubbers, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Marek Nowicki, Kosovo Ombudsperson, and Ms Laurie Wiseberg, Minority Returns Advisor, UNMIK. The full text of the February 17 ERRC letter:

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