Open letter to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the OHCHR
A new form of persecution of the Romanian Roma community is taking place in Italy. The police chiefs are serving Roma men and women without a residence who are caught begging with an expulsion order.
The reason is the following: they do not qualify to stay more than three months in Italy. The Roma people cannot afford to appeal against this decision as they are very poor.
Moreover, Italy is the EU country with the fewest civil rights lawyers, which entails fees for legal defence that the Roma cannot afford.
The violation of the bill foresees a prison sentence and deportation for five years. Since the Romanian Roma in Italy are subjected to marginalization and racism, they are unable to obtain a residence or work permit.
However their social vulnerability is being turned into a crime.
EveryOne Group is protesting against this series of abuses that are affecting thousands of Roma citizens, and which amounts to institutional xenophobia, police and judiciary abuse, and an authentic mass expulsion based on their ethnicity.
We are appealing to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake - using the diplomatic and legal tools at their disposal - to put an end to this phenomenon of persecution and demand a respect of the charters of human rights, the EU resolutions, and the Italian Constitution, which forbids racist behaviour and the repression of poor and marginalized people.
Hoping for a prompt response, we send you our kindest regards.
Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson - EveryOne Group
August 1, 2012