26 June 2009 – A majority of conservative and liberal MPs in the regional Parliament of the Land Hessen rejected, yesterday, a motion by the left-wing party “Die Linke” to provide a regular residence status to Roma refugees from Kosovo. The motion was discussed in the Internal Affairs Committee, where it received the support of the Social-Democratic and Green parties.
According to newspaper reports, the members of the majority remained insensitive to the argument of the opposition according to which the situation in Kosovo is yet not ripe for a sustainable return of members of ethnic minorities, saying that each case will be assessed upon its individual merits. However, according to the same newspaper reports, the Minister of Interior of the Land Hessen is well aware of the limited reception capacities of the Kosovo municipalities.
One month ago, a young Roma man and father of two small German born children was arrested in the Hessen municipality of Fuldatal and deported back to Kosovo. The lawyer, Axel Selbert, who alerted on this case, is afraid that this may only be the first of a wave of forced repatriations of Roma to Kosovo, and that this practice could generalise to other parts of Germany.
Kosovo Roma refugees in Hessen and other parts of Germany have recently received invitations to leave Germany and return to Kosovo on a “voluntary basis”. According to information received from local NGOs, several families have subsequently gone into hiding in order to evade their deportation.
See: Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine Zeitung: Bleiberecht für Roma abgelehnt, 26 June 2009
Neues Deutschland: Harte Zeiten für Roma in Hessen, 26 June 2009
Chachipe: Hessen deports father of small children to Kosovo, 28 May 2009
Chachipe: Hessen Parliament discusses stable status for Kosovo Roma, 22 June 2009