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Oslo Roma will resist any eviction: campaigner

Published: 13 Sep 2013 11:07 GMT+02:00

"There’s a big chance that some people will resist in a public way and just refuse to leave," said Bjønnulv Evenrud, who heads the Roma rights group Folk Er Folk. 
 
A court last week ruled that the 25 to 30 Roma tents set up in the forests surrounding Sognsvann, just outside Oslo, contravened Norway's Freedom to Roam laws. It said that it would issue an eviction notice, enabling police to move on the camp within three weeks. 
 
However, Evenrud said yesterday that the Roma were appealing the judgement. 
 
"They are appealing to the court, and the lawyer is asking for a court order to stop the eviction process," he said.
 
Roma immigrants, most of whom come from Romania, have come to Norway in large numbers in the last couple of years, many of them begging in the centre of Oslo, leaving the Norwegian public sharply divided as to the best solution. 
 
Siv Jensen leader of the populist Progress Party summed up the opinion of many Oslo residents when she said she would “put them on a bus and cart them back to the Balkans.”
 
Evenrud said he would complain about an article in Norway's Aftenposten newspaper on Friday, which described the conditions at the camp as unsanitary and unhygienic. 
 
"There is a broken pram full of clothes, rubbish, and used sanitary towels, and an iron pot full of rotten food," the newspaper wrote, adding that "rubbish, food scraps, batteries, broken glass and various other items" were scattered on the forest floor.
 
"We have people up there regularly and the camp is actually very clean," he said.  "I think it’s written with a bad intention. I think the journalist wants to hurt them." 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

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