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Roma deportations "torture": Human rights group

Sweden and other EU countries have stepped up deportations of Roma to Kosovo, despite concerns about their human rights.

Swedish Radio has obtained figures from the UN refugee body, UNHCR, which show a 50 percent increase in 2012 compared to the previous year.

Sweden and other European countries have been criticized by the Council of Europe for the expulsions.

“If you look at this from a purely legal perspective, you can see that there’s no justification for sending people back to a region where they’re subjected to systematic discrimination,” Robert Hårdh, head of the Swedish human rights group Civil Rights Defenders, told Swedish Radio.

“According to the Council of Europe you could classify this as a form of torture.”

More than 600 Roma were forced to return to Kosovo from EU countries, compared to 432 who returned without force when their residency expired.

Thomas Hammarberg, the former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe has described the Roma's situation in the Balkans as a humanitarian catastrophe.

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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