Document - Italy: Further information on Forced eviction

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 30/004/2009

1 April 2009

Further information on UA 73/09 (AI Index: EUR 30/002/2009, 13 March 2009) Forced eviction

ITALY About 150 Roma people

Milan authorities forcibly evicted a community of about 150 Roma people living under an overpass in the north of the city early in the morning of 31 March. According to local newspapers, 70 out of about 150 Roma people were dispersed without being given alternative accommodation. Some families had been already rehoused in temporary shelters provided by NGOs. One family accepted temporary shelter in the city’s dormitory.

It appears that there has been no consultation with the community on the proposed evictions, nor consistent attempts to consult with them on any feasible alternatives to the evictions. The authorities appear not to have prepared any plans for adequate alternative housing nor held discussions with all individuals likely to be affected.

The municipality's practice on previous occasions has been to offer some form of shelter in the short term (weeks or a few months), and only to women and small children, in the city’s dormitories for homeless people.

Before being evicted, the community were living in tents and makeshift shelters under the Bacula overpass, with no running water, sewerage or electricity. Without alternative accommodation, the families face having to move to another makeshift camp or risk complete homelessness.

Most of the Roma people living in the Bacula camp have previously experienced at least one forced eviction. Approximately 110 of them are believed to have been forcibly evicted, in April 2008, from another unauthorized camp in the city, in via Bovisasca.

Several of the previous forced evictions involved the destruction of property, including shelters, clothes, mattresses, and, in some instances, medicines and documents.

Amnesty International will continue monitoring the situation of the community, and take further campaigning action as necessary.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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