Germany: Hundreds of Roma protest their deportation
According to a press release from the alle-bleiben.info organization, on Saturday, 18 July, 600 people assembled in Hamburg, Germany to protest the deportation of Roma refugees back to their home countries. Demonstrators demanded an end to the deportations of all Roma, the right to remain in Germany, interpreters who speak Romanes to be provided during official interactions, unrestricted work permits for detainees, earlier opportunities to move out of refugee centers/hostels, and that officials pay attention to refugees' medical reports.
The demonstrators included Roma living in asylum/immigrant detention centers, representatives of the "Lampedusa Group", and many supporters. They were first addressed by a Holocaust surviver who expressed support for the protest.
"At the moment, thank God, we are not being slaughtered any longer," said Peggy Parnass, whose parents were murdered at Treblinka. "This is an improvement. But we are being discriminated against, sidelined and repressed. This is still going on, still going on. There is a strong tradition, but it cannot stay like that!"
The "Lampedusa Group", which has criticized conditions in the refugee camps, then spoke, demanding an end to deportations of Romani asylum seekers, the right to remain in Germany, and unrestricted work permits. The demonstration also heard a recorded audio message from a Romani group in Freiburg.
Another speaker described degrading living conditions for Romani people in the countries that Germany has now designated as "safe", and the Hamburg Refugee Council reported on the most recent wave of Romani deportations several years ago and what the outcome was for the deportees. The demonstration ended with performances by rappers K-Flow's, Gipsys Evidence, Prince-H and the singer Jana.
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