Several Romani Families Detained in Italy

22 July 2005

According to information provided to the ERRC by Mr Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo of the Cosorzio Italiano di Solidarieta (ICS), at approximately 5:00 AM on 10 February 2005, Italian police officers entered the Favorita Romani camp in Palermo, stating they were undertaking a "child census" and proceeded to detain several Romani families from Kosovo and /or Serbia and Montenegro. Detained persons included young children, the elderly and the infirm; many of them were held for approximately twenty four hours. During their detention, they were reportedly not provided with food.

After their release, a number of the detained Roma told Mr Paleologo that when they complained to the officers about the treatment they were receiving, they were threatened and pushed. According to statements by eyewitnesses, during the raid on the camp, police officers also notified twenty persons that the Italian government had ordered their expulsion unless they left Italy voluntarily within five days. A number of the persons at issue reportedly do not have personal documents, including passports. As of March 9, two Romani women who had been detained after the raid were freed. As of May 17, the expulsions had not yet been annulled or carried out. To view the full text of the letter of concern sent to Mr Giuseppe Pisanu, Minister of the Interior, please visit the ERRC website at: http://www.errc.org/uploads/upload_en/file/01/3A/m0000013A.doc

(ICS)

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