2 June 2009 – The representatives of the Greens in the Parliament of Lower Saxony have asked the Minister of Interior Schüneman to oppose to the expulsion of Roma to Kosovo and to advocate for a human implementation of the “Bleiberecht” [a rule which allows the regularisation of refugees and long-time immigrants] at the Conference of the Ministers for Interior which takes place this week (04./05.06.09 Bremerhaven).

“By the end of 2008, there were 3474 [Roma from Kosovo] in Lower Saxony, which is about 30 percent of the total number [of Kosovo Roma refugees] in Germany. This is why the Minister of Interior of Lower Saxony Schünemann bears a particular responsibility to make sure that no agreement on the forced repatriation of Roma and other ethnic minorities is being made in the context of the negotiations on a readmission agreement between Germany and Kosovo, ” Filiz Polat, the spokes woman on migration policies said. Accordingly Roma families are facing an even greater risk of being forcibly deported back to Kosovo because of the larger families which make it difficult to meet the high requirements set by the “Bleiberechtsregelung”.

The Green politician announced [that her party will] request an extension of the deadlines the so-called “Bleiberechtsregelung” as well as the introduction of a social clause for large families and old or sick persons at the June session of the Parliament, in support of  the call of Roma and refugee organisations to the Conference of the Ministers of Interior.

Polat substantiated her claims with reference to reports from human rights organizations and returning refugees which show that the protection of minorities is still not guaranteed in Kosovo. Roma, in particular, live in isolation and under “miserable conditions” in camps in the north of Mitrovica. Unemployment among the Roma in Kosovo is over 90 percent.

GRÜNE gegen Rückführung von Roma in den Kosovo, 2. Juni 2009

Source: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen im Niedersächsischen Landtag

Courtesy translation: Chachipe