UN panel criticizes France's expulsion of Roma

August 27, 2010 14:49


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GENEVA  — A UN panel demanded that France stop rounding up Gypsies to force them back to Romania on Friday, saying the practice violates human rights.

The recommendation came a day after the archbishop of Paris called France's crackdown a "circus" as the country expelled nearly 300 Roma.

The UN anti-racism panel said Friday that France should avoid "collective repatriation" of the Roma while finding solutions that respect human rights.

It also expressed concern that Gypsies in France weren't receiving full voting, education and housing rights.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government links the Roma to crime such as prostitution and child exploitation. Critics say the policy amounts to racism against one of the European Union's most impoverished minorities.

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