16 July 2009 – In an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau, which was published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, says that the recent deportations of Roma from Germany to Kosovo were a big mistake. The Commissioner did not want to comment on particular cases, but reiterated the statement he made in his recently published report on his fact-finding mission to Kosovo that conditions for sustainable returns did not exist.”
“What our countries tend to forget is that the refugees will be back soon if there is no integration in the country of origin,” the Commissioner said. He said that the governments of the host countries were taking a purely technical approach, when signing readmission agreements with Kosovo, taking Kosovo’s independency as an anchorage for the conclusion of readmission agreements.
The Commissioner subsequently repeated his call on the governments of the host countries not to forcibly repatriate people, and, in particular, minorities to Kosovo. “Kosovo does not yet have the capacity to readmit a large number of returnees,” the Commissioner said.