Romani Couple Imprisoned and Child Removed from their Care in Italy

10 July 2002

According to information received from the Italian national daily newspaper Il Corriere della Sera of March 15, 2002, on March 14, 2002, at approximately 9:00 PM, Mr Marian Stanciu, a 20-year-old Romani man, and his partner, Ms Anişoara Călin, a 20-year-old Romani woman, were arrested and each given eight months imprisonment after police raided their camp, Salone, in search of them. Mr Stanciu and Ms Călin were charged in accordance with the Italian Penal Code Article 403 for mistreatment of a minor and exploitation for economic ends. On the afternoon of March 13, 2002, two police officers had stopped Mr Stanciu and Ms Călin while begging at a traffic light with their daughter, 2-year-old Ana Maria. According to Il Corriere della Sera, when the officers saw that Ana Maria was an infant, they reportedly asked for verification of Ana Maria's identity, then detained the family and took them to the nearby hospital, Umberto I. At the hospital, the police informed Mr Stanciu and Ms Călin that they were going to investigate their treatment of Ana Maria and that judicial proceedings would be undertaken. According to the Italian non-governmental organisation 3 Febbraio, on March 13, 2002, Ms Călin fled the hospital with Ana Maria, fearing the court would take her away. According to 3 Febbraio, there was a court hearing on May 7, 2002, to determine if Ana Maria would immediately be put up for adoption. As of July 15, 2002, 3 Febbraio reported to the ERRC that the case was still under review by the court. Ana Maria had been placed in foster care pending the court's decision. According to 3 Febbraio, the Stanciu family arrived in Italy in September 2001 from Craiova, Romania, to seek medical assistance for Ana Maria, who was born prematurely and suffered growth problems. Since their arrival in Italy, Ana Maria had been in hospital three times for treatment.

(3 Febbraio, ERRC, Il Corriere della Sera)

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