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August 24, 2019
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Scottish travellers seek official apology for years of discrimination

Edinburgh, Scotland, 10.11.2010 10:51, (ROMEA)

A formal public apology from Holyrood over the "ill treatment" of travellers will be sought following concerns that the Scottish Traveller Community had been mistreated and "racially discriminated against" for decades, the Scotsman has reported.

Petitioner Ken MacLennan set out examples of mistreatment dating back almost 500 years, including anti-gypsy laws. Members of the Scottish Parliament said more information was needed to substantiate the appeal for an apology.

When asked whether there had been systemic abuse of travellers, SNP committee member told the Scotsman: "I don't get the sense there's enough evidence here to proceed on that basis.

I would suggest maybe returning to the petitioner and asking for a bit more evidence as to why the Scottish Government should apologise. I don't think it's clear as to what they're meant to be apologising for".

Labour member Bill Butler suggested writing to the government asking whether it accepted the allegations of historic discrimination, while noting that the claim was "very worrying".

Mr MacLennan said the request for more information will "open a few can of worms".

A Scottish Government spokesman noted that : "This is a matter for the petitions committee…We believe it is important to balance the rights of the settled community while respecting the rights of the Gypsy Traveller community to follow their traditional way of life".

Nathalia Odwin, The Scotsman
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