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September 26, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 5A

Treatment of Roma migrants
draws scrutiny from EU

More than 10,000
gypsies evicted
from squatter
camps in France
PARIS (AP) - France's
treatment of thousands of
Roma migrants who have been
expelled to Eastern Europe
came under new scrutiny
Wednesday from the Europe-
an Commission and a leading
rights group, after France's
top security official said the
migrants had a "duty to return
to their homeland."
Amnesty International said
more than 10,000 Roma, also
known as Gypsies, had been
evicted from French squatter
camps from January through
August, with many forced to
return home to Romania and
Bulgaria, despite European
Union rules requiring free
movement for all EU citizens.
Many Roma in France live
in makeshift camps set up on
vacant lots, lacking running
water or electricity. Without
regular documentation of their
residence, they have a hard time
enrolling children into school,
applying for subsidized hous-
ing, getting health care through
the national system or finding
permanent work.
Amnesty said those prob-
lems are compounded with each
forced evacuation, pushing the
Roma further out to society's
margins. In releasing its tally
of evictions - including one as
recent as Sept. 18 - Amnesty
brought together a doctor and a
teacher who had both cared for
Roma from families they said
wanted to join French society,
contrary to the image of Roma
as resistant to integration.
"What we see on the ground
is a break with the stereotypes
of social and sanitary problems,
and other cliches that are being

invoked now," said Jean-Fran-
cois Corty, a doctor with Mede-
cins du Monde. "Most of the
people we see want to integrate,
want work, want their children
in schools and want the benefits
of modern medicine."
Roma started arriving in
Europe from India in the 14th
century and there are an esti-
mated 8 million in Europe, with
the largest population in Roma-
nia. Facing discrimination and
bleak prospects in Romania,
many head west to France and
other richer European coun-
tries.
There are an estimated
20,000 Roma in France, a popu-
lation that has remained sta-
ble over several years despite
repeated attempts by both
Socialist and conservative gov-
ernments to persuade them -
sometimes forcibly - to return
home.
ManyFrenchblamethe Roma
for a rise in petty crime and an
influx of street beggars, espe-
cially in tourist areas of Paris,
where crime rings involving
children have been broken up,
and where subway announce-
ments warn every few minutes
against pickpockets.
In Sweden, police this week
acknowledged compiling a
secret, illegal registry of more
than 4,000 Roma, including
children, coming under criti-
cism from politicians who said
it was unconstitutional to regis-
ter people by ethnicity.
French Interior Minister
Manuel Valls provoked anger
Tuesday for saying the Roma
migrants had a "duty to return to
their homeland" - and despite
a wave of criticism, refused to
back down Wednesday.
Valls said the Roma had failed
to integrate and that France had
no responsibility to them.
"We don't have the obligation
to welcome these populations,
we need to say it clearly and
calmly. It is not about stigmatiz-

ing a population, but facing the
truth," he said.
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty's
Europe and Central Asia pro-
gram director, offered a differ-
ent interpretation.
"The Roma have a duty to
live in misery. That's how the
comments of the interior min-
ister should be translated," Dal-
huisen said.
In Romania, Marian Man-
dache, director of rights group
the Romani Criss, called the
French minister's comments a
"populist ruse."
"The French minister is dis-
criminating against an ethnic
group, it is a breach of the right
to free circulation and a breach
of other human rights," she told
The Associated Press.
The EU justice chief, Viviane
Reding, shot back Wednesday at
the French government, accus-
ing it of holding Romania and
Bulgaria hostage to domestic
French politics. Immigration
is a sensitive issue amid cam-
paigning for upcoming munici-
pal elections across France.
Reding accused the French
government of using tensions
over the Roma to distract vot-
ers from more serious economic
problems.
"There's an election in the
air in France," Reding said
on France-Info radio. "Every
time they don't want to talk
about important things like the
budget or debts, they find the
Roma."
In a rare statement comment-
ing on both news reports and
Reding's remarks, the French
Interior Ministry said Valls
"attentively ensures respect of
national and European rules."
The minister also noted that
"the Romanian government has
several times reiterated that the
responsibility for integrating
Roma of Romanian national-
ity was first of all the business
of Romanian authorities," the
statement said.

Pakistani villagers transport the dead body of a person killed by an earthquake for burial in the remote district of Awaran,
Baluchistan province. Rescuers struggled Wednesday to help thousands of people injured and left homeless after their
houses collapsed in a massive earthquake in southwestern Pakistan, as the death toll rose to hundreds.
Earthquake survivors fight to
find shelter, food among rubble

Pakistani quake
destroys 300 homes,
injures 373 people
DALBADI, Pakistan (AP) -
Survivors built makeshift shel-
ters with sticks and bed sheets
Wednesday, a day after their
mud houses were flattened in an
earthquake that killed 285 peo-
ple in southwestern Pakistan
and pushed a new island up out
of the Arabian Sea.
While waiting for help to
reach remote villages, hungry
people dug through the rubble
to find food. And the country's
poorest province struggled with
a dearth of medical supplies,
hospitals and other aid.
The quake flattened wide
swathes of Awaran district,
where it was centered, leaving
much of the population home-
less.
Almost all of the 300 mud-
brick homes in the village of
Dalbadi were destroyed. Noor
Ahmad said he was working
when the quake struck and
rushed home to find his house
leveled and his wife and son
dead.
"I'm broken," he said. "I have
lost my family."
At least 373 people were also
injured, according to a state-
ment from the National Disaster
Management Authority, which
gave the latest death toll.
Doctors in the village treated
some of the injured, but due to
a scarcity of medicine and staff,
they were mostly seen comfort-
ing residents.
The remoteness of the area
and the lack of infrastructure
hampered relief efforts. Awaran
district is one of the poorest in
the country's most impover-
ished province.
Just getting to victims was
challenging in a region with
almost no roads where many
people use four-wheel-drive
vehicles and camels to traverse
the rough terrain.
"We need more tents. more

medicine and more food," said
a spokesman for the provincial
government, Jan Mohammad
Bulaidi.
Associated Press images from
the village of Kaich showed
the devastation. Houses made
mostly of mud and handmade
bricks had collapsed. Walls and
roofs caved in, and people's pos-
sessions were scattered on the
ground. A few goats roamed
through the ruins.
The Pakistani military said it
had rushed almost 1,000 troops
to the area overnight and was
sending helicopters as well. A
convoy of 60 Pakistani army
trucks left the port city of Kara-
chi early Wednesday with sup-
plies.
Pakistani forces have evacu-
ated more than 170 people from
various villages around Awaran
to the district hospital, the mili-
tary said. Others were evacu-
ated to Karachi.
One survivor interviewed in
his Karachi hospital bed said
he was sleeping when the quake
struck.
"I don't know who brought
me from Awaran to here in
Karachi, butI feel back pain and
severe pain in my-whole body,"
he said.
Jan said he didn't know what
happened to the man's family.
He was trying to contact rela-
tives.
Local officials said they
were sending doctors, food and
1,000 tents for people who had
nowhere to sleep. The efforts
were complicated by strong
aftershocks.
Baluchistan is Pakistan's
largest province but also the
least populated. Medical facili-
ties are few and often poorly
stocked with supplies and quali-
fied personnel. Awaran district
has about 300,000 residents
spread out over 29,000 square
kilometers (11,197 square miles).
The local economy consists
mostly of smuggling fuel from
Iran or harvesting dates.
The area where the quake
ctriir'is t tbar' an-- f- an'--

insurgency that Baluch separat-
ists have been waging against
the Pakistani government for
years. The separatists regular-
ly attack Pakistani troops and
symbols of the state, such as
infrastructure projects.
It's also prone to earth-
quakes. A magnitude 7.8 quake
centered just across the border
in Iran killed at least 35 people
in Pakistan last April.
Tuesday's shaking was so
violent it drove up mud and
earth from the sea floor to cre-
ate a new island off the Paki-
stani coast.
A Pakistani Navy team
reached the island by mid-
day Wednesday. Navy geolo-
gist Mohammed Danish told
the country's Geo Television
that the mass was a little wider
than a tennis court and slightly
shorter than a football field.
The director of the Nation-
al Seismic Monitoring Cen-
ter confirmed that the mass
was created by the quake and
said scientists were trying to
determine how it happened.
Zahid Rafi said such masses
are sometimes created by the
movement of gases locked in
the earth that push mud up to
the surface.
"That big shock beneath the
earth causes a lot of distur-
bance," he said.
He said these types of islands
can remain for a long time or
eventually subside back into
the ocean, depending on their
makeup.
He warned residents not to
visit the island because it was
emitting dangerous gases.
But dozens of people went
anyway, including the deputy
commissioner of Gwadar dis-
trict, Tufail Baloch.
Water bubbled along the
edges of the island. The land
was stable but the air smelled of
gas that caught fire when peo-
ple lit cigarettes, Baloch said.
Dead fish floated on the
water's surface while local resi-
dents visited the island and took
ctnn---n- e---^-ni '-ba A A"-

Clashes break out at Athens
anti-fascist demonstration

Conflict arises a
week after fatal
stabbing
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -
Clashes broke out during an
anti-fascist demonstration in
Athens on Wednesday, a week
after a fatal stabbing allegedly
committed by a supporter of
the extreme right-wing Golden
Dawn party led to a nationwide
crackdown against the group.
About 30 protesters threw
firebombs, rocks and bottles at
riot police blocking the main
avenue in front of Golden Dawn
* headquarters as a demonstra-
tion of several thousand peo-
ple headed toward it. Police
responded with volleys of tear
gas and stun grenades.
The killing of anti-fascist rap
singer Pavlos Fyssas on Sept. 18
sparked outrage across Greece
and has led to scrutiny of the
party's activities. The suspect
arrested over his death admit-
ted to police that he had stabbed
the 34-year-old and identified
himself as a member of Golden
Dawn, a virulently anti-immi-
grant party that has seen a
massive rise in popularity amid
Greece's severe financial crisis.
The party has vehemently
denied any role in the kill-
ing. Although the suspect has
not been officially identified
in accordance with Greek law,
he has been widely named by
Greek media, which has also
published photos of him at
Golden Dawn events.
"Pavlos is alive, crush the
Nazis," the protesters chanted
as they set off from the capital's
main Syntagma Square, where
an earlier anti-fascist concert
had been held. In Thessaloniki,
Greece's No. 2 city, about 2,000
protesters also heading to local
Golden Dawn offices. Greek
media said other rallies were also
planned in several other cities.
The government ordered
an investigation into Golden
Dawn's activities after Fyssas'
death, with the case being han-

died by Greece's Supreme Court
and anti-terrorist squad under
organized crime laws.
Separately, Health Min-
ister Adonis Georgiadis said
Wednesday that authorities
were also investigating reports
that a psychiatrist at Athens'
main state psychiatric hospital
had been granting certificates
for gun licenses to Golden Dawn
members without conducting
the required tests, and that the
psychiatrist had been calling
for the military to take up arms
against the government.
The crackdown against Gold-
en Dawn has included raids on
narty offices and supnorters

suspected of being involved in
attacks.
Police said Wednesday they
arrested a 34-year-old in Crete
after a raid on his house uncov-
ered a replica gun, a military-
style knife and a collapsible
metal baton. Golden Dawn
membership cards and other
paraphernalia with the party
logo were also found.
Golden Dawn, whose senior
members have expressed admi-
ration for Adolf Hitler although
they deny being neo-Nazi, won
nearly 7 percent in 2012 general
elections and holds 18 seats in
the country's 300-member Par-
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