Collective Expulsion of Roma from Portugal
10 July 2002
On April 11, 2002, the Romanian daily newspaper Evenimentul zilei reported that in the early morning of April 11, 2002, 205 Romanian Roma living in the Musgueira area of Lisbon, Portugal, were arrested and transported to a garage at the Office for Foreigners, following a police search of their trailers. The group was reportedly held in a small garage for a few hours, during which time their fingerprints were taken and photographic portraits were made. They were then transported in cars to the border with Spain and expelled from Portugal. The article quoted a representative of the Office for Foreigners as having stated that the police entered the Romani settlement "to verify the legality of some Romanian citizens' presence in the country who recently had been standing in groups near traffic lights […] begging with their children." The ERRC is working on a legal action in the case.