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French Newspaper Publishes Government's Manual On How To Expel Gypsies

Armen Hareyan's picture

The French government had earlier denied that there is a specific manual instructing localities on how to expel France's gypsy population from the country. However, the manual on how to expel the Roma population was leaked to the press and published in several French newspapers.

According to France-info, which has published the manual, last Thursday the French Interior and immigration ministers told the European parliament that there are no specific measures against the Roma in France. However, the circular manual dated August 5 is very black and white. Their "camps" should be evacuated as a "priority."

The expulsion manual has been released exclusively to the prefects, who are the regional governors in France. The circular is signed by the Chief of Staff of the Minister of Interior and calls for the dismantling of illegal settlements, with the following statement appearing in four times "prioritize those of Roma." The entire document, in French, can be downloaded from France-info (PDF).

Gypsies are Europan nationals and EU citizens most from Romania.

The government knows that the Roma are European nationals and mostly Romanian citizens. Romania is part of EU. Under the transitional measures until 2014 Romanian and Bulgarian citizens can freely move in any EU country for three months. However, in an earlier circular, dated June 24, said that the order of deportation may be considered in cases where there is threat to public order. The text reminds prefects jurisprudence of the notion of disturbing the public order: shoplifting, prostitution or violation of labor laws.

Yet, this August 5th expulsion manual particularlly targeted the Roma population. According to the International Convention on Human Rights it is forbidden to make a distinction based on ethnic origin. For GIST, Group supporting immigrants' cases, this circular could be reference bases for inciting discrimination.

European Parliament has denounced France's anti-Gypsy policies. "A parliament resolution denouncing the French government's policy of deporting Roma families and demolishing their encampments was carried by a much bigger majority than expected – a vote of 337 to 245, bringing an uncommon victory for the centre-left and liberals in a chamber dominated by conservatives," The Guardian writes.

France says it will continue with deportations, despite EU criticism. "I want to say very clearly that there is no question of France suspending returns to countries of origin, whether they are Romanians, Bulgarians or any other nationality," Besson said, adding there was "no question" of Paris complying with the resolution passed by the European Parliament a day earlier, reports RTT Newswire.

See the video about the fate of Roma people in Europe.

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