Priest has Roma evicted from church
French police expelled 13 Roma from a church on the outskirts of Paris on Friday morning. The government’s campaign to close half the country’s Roma camps in three months has caused controversy in France and the rest of Europe.
Police moved in at 7 am at the request of the priest, who had signed a request for expulsion overnight.
The Roma had previously been thrown out of a squat and their supporters say they have nowhere else to go.
They include two adolescents, and some of them have been in the country for 10 years.
On Wednesday police cleared two Roma camps, one in the Créteil just outside Paris, the other in Lyon.
In 1996 an occupation by undocumented immigrants of the St Bernard de la Chapelle church in Paris’s Goutte d’Or area prompted large demonstrations demanding easier access to residency papers for immigrants.
In a much-publicised operation, police cleared them out after two months.