Amnesty says EU states forcing Roma back to Kosovo

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Amnesty says EU states forcing Roma back to Kosovo

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Amnesty International has denounced European Union countries for what it said is a forced return of Roma people and other non-EU citizens to Kosovo. It said they risk persecution in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

The Amnesty allegations come just before the European Commission is due to decide whether to take legal action against France for expelling Roma.

A Commission spokesman said: “The Commission is monitoring the issue but it is up to the national member states to make sure that necessary provisions are fully implemented.”

France has sent hundreds of Roma back to fellow EU members Romania and Bulgaria since the beginning of August, attracting international condemnation.

Amnesty said discrimination against Roma in non-EU Kosovo is systematic because they are seen as having associated with Kosovo Serbs.

The Commission has been especially concerned at France’s apparent singling out of the Roma for expulsion.

An EU government can expel citizens of another EU state from its territory if they put strains on public security, but it cannot target an ethnic group, but Paris has said it has not done this.

It is thought that the Commission might also name other EU countries which it says have not applied rules on letting EU citizens move around freely within the bloc.