Amnesty International condemns the eviction of 250 people
(ANSA) – Rome, September 28 – Rome municipal authorities dimantled the Tor de’Cenci Romani settlement on the outskirts of the city, evicted its inhabitants and bulldozed the camp’s housing on Friday morning. Human Rights group Amnesty International said in an open statement to the Italian government that they condemned the „unlawful eviction“ and were „gravely worried for the wellbeing of the 250 inhabitants of the destroyed camp left without any offer of adequate alternative accommodation, leaving many of them at risk of homelessness“. An Amnesty report in April said that Roma, sometimes called Gypsies, continue to face „persecution and human rights abuses“ in Italy. The non-governmental organization criticized the discriminatory climate against Roma, specifically the 2008 Nomad Emergency decree that gave government representatives in the regions of Lombardy, Lazio and Campania the authority to waive human-rights legislation and allowed forced evictions of Roma communities. The decree was declared unlawful by the country’s highest administrative court in 2011. Discrimination against Roma is one of Italy’s biggest human-rights problems, Amnesty International said in the country’s section of its 2010 annual report. The Italian government has consistently denied applying discriminatory practices regarding Roma. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said on Friday that the destruction of the camp had been pre-warned and that no abuses by authorities took place during the operation. Italy’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Integration Andrea Riccardi expressed his „astonishment at the manner and the suddenness of the eviction of the Roma camp of Tor de‘ Cenci, the destruction of shacks and caravans that all took place in front of numerous children and minors“.
The dismantling precedes a to-be-released report by the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, which has asked Italy to immediately stop the practice of segregation and forced evictions that are in stark contrast to the National Strategy for Roma inclusion, approved by the government last spring.