Romani beggars in Norway in fear after TV documentary: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-24 01:15:32|Editor: yan
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OSLO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Fear has been registered among Romani beggars in Norway after a TV documentary showed an organized criminal network involving beggars in the western city of Bergen, newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday.

The documentary, named Lykkelandet (Country of Happines) and aired on Tuesday by public broadcaster NRK, was about a beggar network involving 140 Romanians in Bergen that has earned millions of kroner through street prostitution and drug sales.

"We will not get the answer to the effect of the documentary Lykkelandet before next week. We can only cross our fingers that what we now experience as a groundless generalization of a particular group is not going to break out," said Bjonnulv Evenrud, general manager of the People are people, an organization working for better conditions for Roma in Norway

Evenrud has since 2012 promoted the case of begging Romani people in Norway and published a magazine that is sold by the Roma. Since the documentary was published, he has been busy handling the reactions to it.

"We could clearly trace fear among this group on Wednesday. We received several messages from different places in the country where there were episodes of harassment. On Thursday the situation calmed down," Evenrud said.

"Due to Easter there are many who have been home in Romania. Therefore, there have been few of sellers of our magazine in the country. These days we have only had 8 to 10 sellers in Oslo. However we know that many will come back next week," he said.

According to newspaper Bergens Tidende, several beggars had already booked flights to Romania since they no longer thought it is safe to be in Bergen after the documentary created fear among them.

"I hope that the population will make some reflections in the wake of the generalization that was made in this documentary. Many are left with the impression that the general picture is that this is about serious crime and that begging and magazine sales are just a front. That is completely wrong in most of the cases and very unfortunate," Evenud said.