The expulsion of Romanian citizens, especially those of the Rroma community, by the Italian Government is in breach with the international human rights obligations Italy has assumed, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a press release on Thursday.

Romanians - not European citizens in general - are the real target of an Italian degree allowing for easier expulsion procedures, says Judith Sunderland, a representative of the organization.

HRW argues that the Italian government adopted on October 31 an emergency decree allowing for the expulsion of European citizens, shortly after the violent murder of an Italian woman by Rroma burglar.

HRW European affairs researcher Judith Sunderland says that Italy has no right to punish a community because of the murder committed by one of its members.

Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato justified the government’s decree by arguing that it was meant to prevent any xenophobic feelings.

Sunderland argues that the issue has become a political debate and even though the decree does not mention Romanians, the politician’s discourse targets the community as a whole.