Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity?

(c) Amnesty International

What does liberty, equality, and fraternity mean for the Roma who are being forcibly evicted from France?  Not much.  But fortunately, today the European Union urged France to immediately suspend the expulsion of Roma people.   This decision was made after the destruction of 300 Roma camps and the expulsion of their inhabitants.

The actoins of President Nicolas Sarkozy are now under heavy scrutiny of the European Union. And rightfully so.  The country which was once viewed as a “lighthouse of democracy and freedom”, has not cast its light on the Roma population which has been discriminated against for decades.  From Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the 1912 French law requiring identity cards that categorized Roma as ‘nomads’ and encouraged discrimination, to their recent expulsion, Roma have long been the targets of discrimination.

We have called on France to heed the EU’s request, end the cycle of discrimination, and welcome Roma by granting them liberty, equality, and fraternity.

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