A police action took place in Belgium this week resulting in the seizure of caravans belonging to Belgian Roma Travellers accused of trading in illegally obtained vehicles.
According to the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO), hundreds of police officers entered in the morning on 7 May in 19 locations in Belgium where the Roma had parked their caravans. 76 people were reportedly arrested, while community members speak of a higher number.
All belongings of the families were seized. Some of the community members were released from custody without having been questioned, but without their belongings.
The spokesperson of the Prosecutor announced that 90 caravans and 91 cars were confiscated and one million Euros was seized on the spot. Today the families concerned are still without housing. Many of them stay with neighbours of other family members.
The Roma Travellers Community are protesting against what they see as a violation of a basic and universal human right: the right to housing. The community is calling on the Belgian Ministry of Interior to take the necessary actions and to give the Roma Travellers back their caravans, their only homes.