French news server Le Progres.fr reports that French Police have evicted 10 Romani families from a municipally-owned building in Lyon which had been unoccupied for years until the families’ recent arrival. Most of them are from Romania. The eviction occurred after French authorities recently dissolved several Romani campsites elsewhere in the country. The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has objected to Paris’s procedures. The Council of Europe considers the ERTF the main international organization for the protection of the rights of Romani people in Europe.
Authorities justified yesterday’s eviction of 50 adults and children onto the street by claiming they plan to reconstruct the building. Romani representatives say the reconstruction is not to start until 2014. Romani civic associations say this is the seventh such intervention in Lyon, where more than 350 Romani people, most of them from Romania, have been forced to relocate since the start of the summer. The Romani evictees have demanded substitute accommodations, but authorities are refusing to provide any.
Last week the French Police cleared a campsite of approximately 200 Romani people near the northern town of Lille. The intervention followed a series of similar police actions in Lyon and Paris. Police officers have been targeting Romani people from Eastern Europe who have no official documentation of their residency in France. A group of Romanian Romani people was subsequently deported from Lyon.