The French citizens’ rights watchdog, the Défenseur des droits, is investigating a complaint that a bus driver with the Paris public transport system, the RATP, refused to let three young Roma men with valid travel passes climb aboard his vehicle, allegedly saying ‘dirty Romanians, you’re like dogs’. Witnesses have come forward to confirm the incident which, as Carine Fouteau reports, is just one of a series involving allegedly discriminatory behaviour against Roma by RATP staff, and which drivers' union officials say they “cannot deny” happen.
An estimated 20,000 Roma live, in mostly precarious conditions, in France, which has arguably the toughest policy towards them among EU states.
French court upholds the October expulsion of the teenager, her parents and six siblings to Kosovo which sparked major public controversy.
The plight of migrant Roma squatters, harshly scapegoated and ostracized, is only getting worse in France, warns a New York Times editorial.
The number of Roma evicted from France in 2013 jumped to 19,380 compared to 9,404 in 2012, claims a report by human rights' organisations.
Mediapart has obtained the recording of a public meeting in which a mayor from the right-wing UMP main opposition party is heard suggesting that Roma people should be allowed to burn in fires that break out at their camps. Luc Jousse, from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the South of France, talks on the tape about a spate of fires at a Roma settlement in his town. 'It's almost a shame that the emergency services were called so early!' he says, to laughter. The comments were quickly condemned as 'unacceptable' by the UMP's own leadership. Jousse, who has now been suspended by his local party, said he regretted the remarks but insisted he was simply relaying the comments of a local resident. Hélène Constanty reports.
The French president is slammed by Right and Left for offering a deported immigrant teenager a return to France but without her family.
The French president says Leonarda Dibrani, 15, deported to Kosovo earlier this month with her family, is allowed to return to France, but alone.
The French government found itself on Wednesday the target of a storm of protests over the arrest and repatriation to Kosovo last week of a 15 year-old Roma girl who was taken into custody by police in front of her schoolmates after her family’s application for asylum in France was rejected. The heavy-handed arrest of Léonarda Dibrani, which was first revealed in a blogpost on Mediapart, has split opinion both among the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party and within the government itself, with education minister Vincent Peillon calling for a ban on the arrests of pupils during school activity. The controversy comes as interior minister Manuel Valls leads a high-profile, hardline campaign targeting Roma immigrants who he has claimed are not apt to integrate into French society. Interviewed by Mathieu Magnaudeix, Socialist MP Sandrine Mazetier, vice-president of the National Assembly and head of her party’s immigration affairs department, strongly denounces the treatment handed out to Léonarda Dibrani, and demands that sanctions be taken against the police prefect responsible for ordering her arrest in an act of “political provocation”.
Police testified during the trial that the Croatian Roma gang traded in women and used children like conscripts in a criminal army.
Councillors from the far-left Front de Gauche party in Paris have called for council vote on building a camp in heart of the 16th arrondissement.
President orders interior minister and housing minister to end damaging public squabble over how to tackle issue of Roma people in France.
President has so far declined to get embroiled in dispute triggered by interior minister's claim that most Roma in France will never integrate.
The official defender of citizens' rights accused the government of flouting its own rules for the expulsion of Roma migrants from illegal camps.