France returned some 70 people to Romania on 19 August following a pledge last month to close illegal camps. It says the Roma left voluntarily and the planned expulsions do not amount to mass deportations.
But Maria Ochoa-Llido, head of the Migration and Roma Division, told a BBC radio interviewer on 18 August that “collective expulsion of aliens” was prohibited under the human rights charter.
On 19 August, Eleni Tsetsekou explained to BBC World television viewers that France’s action created the impression of “mass punishment of a community.”
Robert Rustem of the European Roma and Travellers Forum told an Al Jazeera news bulletin that events in France highlighted the importance of a “civil rights for Roma” campaign.
21/08/10: Maria Ochoa-Llido interview with RSR [fr]
20/08/10: Maria Ochoa-Llido interview with France24 [fr]