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Activists fight closure of Malmö migrant camp

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Activists fight closure of Malmö migrant camp
Protestors at the camp on Monday. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
07:24 CET+01:00
UPDATED: Campaigners are gathered at a controversial camp in Malmö that has been home to hundreds of mostly Roma people, but is set to be cleared by police and local authorities.

The camp has been occupied by around 200 people for months, but following a decision from Malmö city council's environmental committee, they were asked to leave the camp by 4pm on Sunday or face eviction.

However, police failed to show up, with some of the residents remaining there overnight amid rumours that it would be cleared on Monday morning instead.

As the city's rush hour got under way, campaigners arrived at the camp to show their support for the EU migrants, who have been living in caravans, tents, shacks and cars on the land, which is in an industrial area of Sweden's third largest city.

"They can lift us out. If we do not get to stay here we will be forced to sleep on the street," one 22-year-old, named simply as Daniel from Romania, told the TT news agency.

A firecracker was thrown at the camp overnight, with some media reporting that a woman was injured. Several ambulances were sent to the scene but police later told regional Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan that nobody had been hurt in the blast. 


Protestors at the entrance to the camp on Monday. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Under Swedish law both locals and visitors alike usually have the right to walk or camp on almost any land, although this does not include public land that is adjacent to residential property or privately-owned gardens.

The case of the camp in Malmö is unique because the person who owns the land tolerated the migrants – who are mainly Roma people from Romania and Bulgaria – for six months before launching a trespassing case with police.

Sweden's national government recently announced it was set to appoint an investigator to review the country's regulatory framework for eviction.

Some municipalities in other parts of Sweden have already evicted groups of Roma from public land including in the capital, Stockholm.

Malmö city council is offering accommodation for five nights for around 50 people from the camp and trying to find help for the migrants in their home villages in Romania.

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