Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FACTORY of DEATH

At about 7 a.m. on the morning of February 25th in Pesaro (Italy), about 20 officers, (regular police and municipal police) entered the abandoned factory situated in Via Fermo, 49, where 30 Romanian Roma have been living for the last year.


Among them patients being treated at San Salvatore Hospital for heart problems and tumours; many women and nine minors, including a few-month-old baby. The authorities gave the order to clear the abandoned factory where the roma were living and dispersed the families.

Virgil Caldarar, one of the two Roma children who will never be born. They died in their mothers womb during (or immediately after) the tragic clearance. These are not isolated cases, because the endless camp clearances without any offer of alternative housing lead to deaths and humanitarian tragedies every year.


EveryOne Group met the parents of the babies and recorded their story in the hope that this umpteenth case of abuse the Roma people are subjected to does not go unnoticed.


Interview transcription:

We have lived here for a year without any trouble, we clean car windscreens for a living. That is our job, we are quiet people. Yes, they were armed, like a gang. I don't know why they came here. They could have just come and told us we couldn't stay here any more. My wife was very frightened. She was distraught, and the result was that we lost our baby. I may be poor, but I wanted that baby.


If the police hadn't turned up, things would have been all right. We had been at the factory for a year and nobody had ever said anything. But that day the police came. I don't know why. On February 25th a lot of policemen came to the factory in Via Fermo. They came early in the morning and forced all the families to remain inside, then they asked to see our papers. There were a lot of them, 30 or 20 policemen. They wanted to take my 4-year old daughter and put her in an institute until she was 18. I didn't want that to happen. I would rather have died than lost my child. Just imagine how a mother feels if she can't see her daughter again until she is 18. So I fled with my daughter, and I was three months pregnant. This episode led to me miscarrying.


I was terrified, and so was my sister. Then we fled to Rome and we were both ill. We had nowhere to sleep, for two days. Then we went back to Romania. I felt ill on the bus too. I spent two nights on the bus travelling back to Romania. Then in Romania I found out I'd lost the baby. If the police hadn't arrived, the pregnancy would have gone ahead. I'd even had a sonogram done. I'd done everything. We were going to call it Michele.


I collect a bit of money for my family here. I send 20 or 30 euros back to Romania to support them. Because our home country is not a good place, if it had been, I would have stayed there with my children. The police... and what happened... I was so scared. The stress... the fright. I slept out in the open for 2 nights, on the ground. I caught cold, I was in pain. I was very ill all the way to Romania. I was in hospital for three days in Romania. I'd suffered a miscarriage. The police knew she was expecting a baby, I told them so myself. I said: "My wife is expecting a baby and she sleeps in here. I have a place to sleep here with my wife". But they told me they didn't care, that we had to leave the factory. We had to leave and my wife miscarried. I'm really sorry.

On February 25th the police arrived and I was over two months' pregnant. There were a lot of police officers and I was very scared. I fell to the ground and I felt a pain inside my stomach. Then I fled to Rome because I had no place to sleep here as they had sent the police and local authorities, they don't help us here in Pesaro. When the police arrived here, they frightened me because they told me they would take my little girl away from me. When I heard that I fled with my daughter. I was expecting another baby. I had to sleep on the floor for days and I caught a cold. When I arrived in Romania I found out I had miscarried. I felt terrible. I felt a pain in my heart. I thought the baby was still alive, like my other two children. That's what I thought. And I thought that God had seen the harm those policemen had done to me.
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