Police in Rome cleared nearly 400 people from camp inhabited by minority ROMA community

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Guardian: Police in Rome have cleared nearly 400 people, including dozens of children, from a camp inhabited for years by members of the minority Roma community, despite an EU court ruling halting demolition.

Residents stood outside the camp with mattresses and other belongings piled alongside vehicles, some protesting against the move with chants of “racists!”

Some complained that police used force during the eviction, however the police commander, Antonio Di Maggio, denied the claims.

The eviction is a victory for Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, who has long campaigned against Roma people.

The party’s joint government programme with the Five Star Movement, to which the Rome mayor belongs, includes a plan for all “unregistered” Roma camps to be closed down, while in June Salvini called for a census of the community to be carried out.

“Finally, the eviction at the Camping River Roma camp in Rome is underway. Legality, order and respect before everything!” he wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

Earlier in the week Salvini belittled the intervention by the European court of human rights (ECHR), writing on Twitter: “All we needed was the do-goodism of the European Court of Roma Rights.”

According to ANSA, the reason for the closure was linked to the health risks the place posed for its residents and the community.

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