Roma rights in Transnistria: prison for fortune-telling and other infringements
There are 5 500-6 000 Roma in Transnistria, according to estimates by some of their spokespersons. The number was much less (507) in the 2004 census as, similarly to elsewhere, many Roma identified themselves as belonging to one of the major population groups.
The Expert visited a number of families in Bender and Varniţa (Security Zone)20 and found their situation to be generally precarious. They have few possibilities to earn their living and several of the elderly had health problems which they could not afford to address. Those who were able to do so, had gone abroad to seek temporary employment.
Those who spoke with the Expert stated that people in the neighbourhood were friendly and bore no prejudices against Roma. However, they were deeply concerned about a women who had been imprisoned for having tried to earn money through fortune-telling (a case which the Expert raised with the authorities).
They also raised a number of cases of physical abuse of Roma detained by the police. The Expert also received information that there have been cases in the recent past in which Roma have been expelled in groups from the territory. (page 36 of the Report)
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