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Belgrade Evicts Roma From Slum

Evicting Romany families from the "Belleville" settlement in Belgrade on April 26.
The Belgrade municipality has begun evicting some 1,000 Roma from an improvised settlement in the Serbian capital in spite of protests by rights groups.

Municipal authorities say the slum settlement made of wooden shacks in a new part of the capital is illegal and prevents building projects.

Amnesty International has criticized the move, calling it a "forced eviction" and a "blatant" breach of human rights.

The municipality wants to move the Roma to metal container homes outside Belgrade.

There are an estimated 500,000 Roma living in Serbia, or about 7 percent of the population.

They often face harassment from Serbian extreme nationalist groups.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and RFE/RL