France has shut down more than 40 camps housing hundreds of Roma immigrants, interior minister Brice Hortefeux revealed on Thursday. They were closed down in the past two weeks following the announcement of a government crackdown.
Hortefeux said some 700 people had been rounded up and would be sent back to their countries of origin on “specially chartered flights”. The immigrants are said to have come to France from Romania and Bulgaria, RFI says.
The UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is investigating how traveller communities, including the Roma, are treated.
Some of the experts on the panel issued sharp criticism about the tone of political discourse in France, including its recent debate on national identity and immigration. The committee is expected to make final recommendations by the end of the month, BBC News reports.