France: Forced evictions add to climate of fear amid alleged hate crimes
The apparent lynching of a Roma teenager in a Paris suburb that left him in a coma is just one of several recent alleged hate crimes against minorities that demand thorough investigations and not just condemnation by the French authorities, Amnesty International warned.
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“By failing to bat an eyelid in the face of alleged hate crimes, the French authorities are incubating a climate of fear that will spawn more such vicious attacks. All those responsible must face thorough investigations and prosecutions that take into account any discriminatory motive behind the assaults.
Jezerca Tigani, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International
“Whether faced with a public health scare or alleged hate crimes, instead of resolving the issue at hand, the French authorities seem to resort to forced evictions as a backup plan. This is a dangerous and unlawful response that will only exacerbate the underlying problems and make hundreds of people homeless in the process. ”
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More than one hundred Roma people from the informal settlement of Pirita in the town of Baia Mare are facing an imminent threat of forced eviction by the local authorities. No alternative accommodation has been offered to date and many are at risk of being left homeless. Moreover, those currently living in Pirita who do not have identity documents registered in Baia Mare have also been threatened with expulsion from the city.
Around two thousand Roma are facing imminent forced eviction in Baia Mare, north-western Romania. Seventy families are reported to have agreed to being relocated while the remaining residents risk being made homeless. In addition, those inhabitants without identity documents registered in Baia Mare will be evicted, their homes will be demolished and they will be sent to their places of origin.
Romani CRISS, the Working Group of Civil Society Organizations (gLOC) and Amnesty International welcome the decision of the court of Cluj-Napoca on Wednesday 18 April 2012 to reject the request of the public company, the National Railway (CFR), to remove approximately 450 people, mainly Roma, living in the settlement in Cantonului Street, in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca.
Amnesty International and Bucharest-based organization Romani CRISS are deeply concerned at the threat of forced eviction of Roma from settlements in Baia Mare, in north-western Romania. Representatives of the two organizations visited the city this week to assess the situation following news reports that the relocation of Romani families from the settlements of Craica and Pirita would commence this week.
Between 11 and 13 May, 70 Romani families were moved from their homes in the informal settlement of Craica in Baia Mare, northwestern Romania, to an inadequate and unsafe old office building. Remaining Romani residents are being pressured to move into similar buildings, through threats and intimidation by self-proclaimed representatives of the communities.
Today, 30 NGOs are protesting in Bucharest against the ongoing relocation of dozens of Roma families in Baia Mare into inadequate housing conditions. Amnesty International shares the concerns of the NGOs and calls on the local and national authorities to take immediate action to ensure that any resettlement is preceded by a genuine consultation with the Romani families and it meets international standards binding Romania.
About 200 people will surround the Cluj-Napoca’s City Hall today, as a reminder of a forced eviction and relocation of about 300 people two years ago. The activists will be calling on the local authorities to bring the Roma back into the city.
In this briefing, Amnesty International, the European Roma Rights Centre and Foundation Desire express their concerns about the inadequate housing conditions of approximately 1,500 residents – mostly of Romani origin – of the Pata Rât area in Cluj-Napoca. The organizations consider that these conditions amount to violations of international human rights law and standards which are applicable to Romania with respect to the right to adequate housing and other related economic and social rights, access to an effective remedy and protection from discrimination.