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FrP Leader Siv Jensen: Send Romani People Out of Norway

This weekend Romani people had settled in Ă…rvoll region of Oslo. Then, the protests of the neighborhood had turned into several physical attacks with fireworks and stones against the Romani camps. 

While the city council argues these people’s future, FrP leader Siv Jensen called the authorities to take immediate action. Jensen asked the government to arrange some means to transport Romani people out of Norway immediately.

– If these people can not survive on their own and most of the time commit crimes, set up the bus and send them out, says Jensen.

Conservative (Høyre) politician Stian Berger Røsland also supported Jensen suggesting that people who come to Norway can be requested to return home, and if they do not do it voluntarily, they must be forced.

As a repy to these statements, Justice Ministry announced that deportation is not a government policy, and there is no simple solution to the problem.

About Romani People

In Europe, Romani people have faced a violent persecution throughout the history. One example of official persecution of the Romani is exemplified by The Great Roundup of Spanish Romanies (Gitanos) in 1749. The Spanish monarchy ordered a nationwide raid that led to separation of families and placement of all able-bodied men into forced labor camps.

Later in the 19th century, Romani immigration was forbidden on a racial basis in areas outside Europe, mostly in the English speaking world (in 1885 the United States outlawed the entry of the Roma) and also in some South American countries (in 1880 Argentina adopted a similar policy).

The persecution of the Romanies reached a peak during World War II in the Porajmos, the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis during the Holocaust. In 1935, the Nuremberg laws stripped the Romani people living in Nazi Germany of their citizenship, after which they were subjected to violence, imprisonment in concentration camps and later genocide in extermination camps. The policy was extended in areas occupied by the Nazis during the war.

Because no accurate pre-war census figures exist for the Romanis, it is impossible to accurately assess the actual number of victims. Ian Hancock, director of the Program of Romani Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, proposes a figure of up to a million and a half, while an estimate of between 220,000 and 500,000 was made by Sybil Milton, formerly senior historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Contemporary Problems

Amnesty International reports continued instances of Antizigan discrimination during the 20th Century, particularly in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Serbia Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Kosovo.

In 2008, following the murder of a woman in Rome by a young man from a local Romani encampment, the Italian government declared that Italy’s Romani population represented a national security risk and that swift action was required to address the emergenza nomadi (nomad emergency). Specifically, officials in the Italian government accused the Romanies of being responsible for rising crime rates in urban areas. 

The 2008 deaths of Cristina and Violetta Djeordsevic, two Roma children who drowned while Italian beach-goers remained unperturbed, brought international attention to the relationship between Italians and the Roma people. Reviewing the state of play in 2012, one Belgian magazine observed:

On International Roma Day, which falls on 8 April, the significant proportion of Europe’s 12 million Roma who live in deplorable conditions will not have much to celebrate. And poverty is not the only worry for the community. Ethnic tensions are on the rise. In 2008, Roma camps came under attack in Italy, were the political target of few extremist parliamentarians in Hungary, and in September of last year thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets to chant such slogans as “Turn the gypsies into soap”. 

French Romani repatriation

In the summer of 2010 French authorities demolished at least 51 Roma camps and began the process of repatriating their residents to their countries of origin. This followed tensions between the French state and Roma communities, which had been heightened after French police opened fire and killed a traveller. The French government has been accused of perpetrating some small criminal actions to pursue its political agenda. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding stated that the European Commission should take legal action against France over the issue, calling the deportations “a disgrace”. Purportedly, a leaked file dated 5 August, sent from the Interior Ministry to regional police chiefs included the instruction: “Three hundred camps or illegal settlements must be cleared within three months, Roma camps are a priority.

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