Roma camp dismantled in Rome
FROM WANTED IN ROME
PHOTO A woman talks with friends in the Candoni Gypsy camp on the outskirts of Rome. Hundreds of such camps have been closed in recent years. (Andrea Bruce)
The city of Rome has dismantled a large settlement occupied by about 400 members of the Roma community in Tor de' Cenci, between Via Cristoforo Colombo and Via Pontina in the southern outskirts of the capital. The demolition and eviction, which took place on 28 September, was condemned by human rights groups and charitable organisations such as Rome's Comunità di S. Egidio.
The city's mayor Gianni Alemanno said that the order to demolish the camp had been signed on 31 July for hygiene and sanitation reasons, in accordance with a decree from the regional administrative tribunal (TAR) of the Lazio region, and that the Rom people would be relocated to a specially-built camp at La Barbuta in Ciampino. Alemanno said that no abuses by authorities took place during the operation which was described by S. Egidio as "violent" and "shameful", and by Amnesty International as "unlawful" and "ethnic segregation".
Italy's minister for economic cooperation and integration Andrea Riccardi – who is also the founder of S. Egidio and a former visitor to the Tor de' Cenci camp – expressed his "astonishment at the manner and the suddenness of the eviction... that took place in front of numerous children and minors".
An upcoming report by the Council of Europe human rights commissioner is to request Italy to cease its practice of segregation and forced evictions of the Roma people immediately, while a recent report by Amnesty International cited the continued "persecution and human rights abuses" faced by the Roma in Italy.
On 10 July Amnesty and S. Egidio held a concert called "Io non sgombero" (I'm not moving) to highlight the Tor de' Cenci eviction which had always been contested by the residents.