Amnesty urges France to listen to EU on Roma

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France should heed EU calls and end its discrimination of Roma, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Europe and Central Asia programme said Saturday.

"The European Parliament has taken a strong stand - now France must show it is committed to the respect of human rights and the non-discrimination of particular ethnic groups, including Roma and Travellers," David Diaz-Jogeix said in a statement.

He added that President Nicolas Sarkozy could "start by ending the cycle of discrimination that has led to the expulsions of Roma communities from France".

On Thursday, the European Parliament demanded the immediate suspension of Sarkozy's Roma expulsions in a non-binding resolution.

In August, he launched a controversial crackdown on illegal Roma and gypsy encampments across the country, which saw hundreds of people being flown back to Bulgaria and Romania.

© 2010 AFP

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