French police remove Kosovo Roma from bus during school trip

A 15-year-old Roma girl from Kosovo, whose family lost their bid to be granted asylum in France, was removed from a bus by police during a school trip.

Source: B92, BBC
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The teenager, Leonarda Dibrani, and her family were then expelled from the country and now live in Kosovska Mitrovica.

The BBC reported that when the order was enacted, she was on a school field trip and was removed in view of the other children.

She told the French radio that she was being denied education in Kosovo and that she wanted to return to France to finish school.

The Dibrani family arrived in France five years ago and cited discrimination in Kosovo as grounds for asylum.

A teacher who witnessed the removal of the child from the bus was quoted as saying by the French media that "the pupils and teachers were very shocked."

The government is conducting an inquiry into how the case was handled, said the BBC, and quoted Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as telling parliament that "if a mistake had been made, the family could return to France to have its situation assessed in respect of French laws, practices and values".

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who last month said Roma were "incompatible with the French way of life," defended the expulsion.

Amnesty International recently reported that more than 10,000 Roma had been evicted from temporary camps in France in the first half of the year.

During the latest wave of expulsions the European Commission once again threatened "tough sanctions" against France over the country's policy towards Roma migrants.

France was warned that the Roma from EU countries - mostly Bulgaria and Romania - had the right to freedom of movement across the EU as European citizens.

French President Francois Hollande stated afterwards that his country "respects Roma and works on their social integration when that is possible and the will exists."

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