French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, himself the Barcelona-born son of Spanish immigrants, who reportedly recently declared Roma people incompatible with French way of life, should resign. President Francois Hollande's socialist government should stop following the xenophobic policies of previous conservative government of President Nicolas Sarkozy on the Roma issue, Rajan Zed stressed.
Zed pointed out that dismantling of Roma camps without providing adequate accommodation and forced evictions of Roma people from France should immediately end. Over 10,000 Roma were reportedly evicted from their settlements in France in the first six months of the year. Recently, a Roma camp was reportedly dismantled in Roubaix in northern France, where about 200 people were residing, without substantial offer of alternative accommodation.
Rajan Zed further said that maltreatment of Roma people in France simply smacked of xenophobia and racism against the voiceless community, who had been around in Europe since ninth century CE and numbered about 15-million. Instead of unleashing repression, France and Europe needed to work on social inclusion and rehabilitation of Roma communities. What was more baffling that even religious elite of France had not come out openly against this unjust crackdown on poor Roma while the religions clearly told us to help the helpless, Zed noted.
Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly facing apartheid conditions in Europe. Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Zed stated.