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ERRC: Roma settlements removed under pretext of waste disposal
8 Jan 2013 Flash News
Certain Slovak municipalities may evict their Roma inhabitants and tear down their dwellings under the pretext of applying the Act on Waste Disposal, the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) stated on Monday, January 7. ERRC indicates that it is possible that international legal norms are being disregarded in such evictions.
"More than 150 people, including 60 children, were evicted from their homes in the Košice borough of Nižné Kapustníky on October 30. Their dwellings were demolished, with the local authority claiming that they represented an illegal waste dump. [The Roma] were taken by bus to nearby villages where they allegedly had permanent residency. However, media reports suggested that at least 17 people were taken to the village of Rakúsy in the Kežmarok district, where they neither had permanent residency nor any relatives," said ERRC.
Similar cases allegedly occurred in another borough of Košice called Demeter, and in Žiar nad Hronom (Banská Bystrica region). The Roma NGO expressed concerns that other local authorities in Slovakia may plan to act in a similar manner.
"More than 400 mayors of towns and villages have joined the initiative "Let's Wake Up" organised by Mayor of Žiar nad Hronom Ivan Černaj. The goal of this initiative is to remove illegal settlements and evict 'inadaptable citizens' by defining the settlements as waste disposal sites," ERRC claims, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
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