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December 19, 2014
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Italy: Dismantling of illegal camp divides Milan's leaders

Italy, 11.4.2008 10:14, (Roma Daily News)

Italy's controversial relationship with the Roma community has been further exacerbated after one of their camps was dismantled in the northern city of Milan.The Via Bovisasca camp is thought to be the biggest in northern Italy. Hundreds of migrants were removed from the camp and it was destroyed by local government authorities on Tuesday.

The mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti strongly defended her city's policies on the Roma or gypsy migrants after the city's archbishop, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, said the camp dwellers' human rights had been violated.In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Moratti said there was a health-risk in the camp.

"Arsenic, asbestos and hazardous metals are present and the provincial health board requested the ousting of the camp dwellers," she told the newspaper.In the interview, Moratti said that according to local police, the migrants had wanted to return to Romania.

The Roma are an ethnic group that originated from India and then spread into Europe in a diaspora dating back almost 1,000 years.A recent Italian report said they face discrimination in employment, housing and education and are reportedly regular victims of racial violence.

Following the dismantling of the camp, Tettamanzi criticised Moratti for violating the human rights of the migrants."I am profoundly saddened by the words of the cardinal," responded the mayor.

This week the city of Milan won the competition to host the 2015 Universal Exposition, considered the world's biggest fair.It will reportedly bring billions of dollars in investment and infrastructure to Italy's financial capital.

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Czech Republic: Mass this evening commemorates President Václav Havel

Prague, 18.12.2014 23:42, (ROMEA)
Former Czech President Václav Havel, who passed away three years ago today in his cottage in the town of Hrádeček (Trutnov district), is being commemorated there through the
lighting of dozens of candles and the placing of various heart-shaped objects. People have been stopping by the cottage since morning to light candles.
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Czech winner of US Embassy human rights prize says tolerance for racism is rising

Prague, 17.12.2014 22:26, (ROMEA)
The Alice Garrigue Masaryk Prize, which is awarded annually by the American Embassy in Prague in the area of human rights, went to the director and founder of the In IUSTITIA association, Klára Kalibová, this year. She received the award from US Ambassador Andrew Schapiro on 9 December for providing legal aid to the victims of violent hate crimes.
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Czech Republic: Racist gang attacks Romani man in Havířov

Havířov, 17.12.2014 19:53, (ROMEA)
A 30-year-old Romani man from the Czech town of Havířov was assaulted Saturday night by a group of attackers who are said to have racially abused him. The victim escaped by fleeing into the garden of a house that happened to belong to a District Court judge.
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