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"No legal basis" for expulsion of street musicians

Published tisdag 8 mars 2011 kl 10.22
"This is totally unacceptable"
(3:24 min)
Andrey spent 12 days in custody after playing his saxophone on a Stockholm street. Photo: Daniel Velasco/SR

Police gave the wrong information about beggers, most of them Roma people, who were expelled from Stockholm last summer. Swedish Radio News has reviewed the police documentation of the 45 cases, and it turns out that most of them were street musicians, and - contrary to earlier police statements - there is no record of them being aggressive in any way.

But begging as such is not illegal, and the 45 people had the right to stay in Sweden, as they are EU citizens.

Migration Minister Tobias Billström supported the actions of the Stockholm police last summer. But Thomas Hammarberg, the human rights commissioner at the Council of Europe, tells Swedish Radio News that this is a clear violation of EU rules.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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