Swedish police evacuate Roma camp deemed unsanitary

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2015 11:32 AM
Swedish police evacuate Roma camp deemed unsanitary

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish police on Tuesday evacuated a Roma camp in the southern city of Malmo after a months-long standoff between city authorities and about 200 people who had settled there without permission.

Dozens of people remained in the squalid camp despite a weekend deadline to move out after local authorities declared it an environmental and public health hazard.

Police moved in before dawn Tuesday to remove protesters who were blocking city authorities from tearing down the camp, a cluster of ramshackle homes built on a trash-strewn, abandoned industrial lot.

One demonstrator was arrested for biting a police officer on the hand and five other people were detained for disturbance of the peace offenses, police spokesman Lars Forstell said.

"There were some strong expressions of emotion," Forstell said. "Some people had been living there for a long time."

The city has offered temporary shelter to the camp dwellers, many of whom are from Romania. They have also been offered assistance to travel back to Romania, city spokeswoman Jeanette Silow said.

Protesters said the eviction violated the human rights of the Roma and that they should have been offered an alternative location to set up camp.