Ljubljana Police chief pays the price

The police chief of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana has been sacked over the handling of anti-Roma protests at the weekend.

Hundreds of residents of Ambrus, about 30km (20 miles) south-east of Ljubljana, raised roadblocks to prevent a Roma family returning to their home.

The Strojan family were forced out of their home in October but decided to return after failing to be re-housed. But after the protests erupted they were dissuaded from returning home.

Local media said the family was prevented from going any further by police, and agreed to return to temporary accommodation in a former army barracks until the government found them a new home. Meanwhile more than 100 special police force members were dispatched to Ambrus to calm the tension, while Prime Minister Janez Jansa convened an emergency meeting, the Slovenian news agency STA reported.

On Monday it was announced that police chief Branko Slak had been removed from his post and transferred to the police academy. The treatment of the 30-strong Strojan family was criticised earlier this month by the Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg. They had been escorted by police out of their village after residents threatened to expel them, accusing them of stealing. Mr Hammarberg said it was "unacceptable" that they had had to leave their home "because the majority population in the area so required".


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