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Italy to scale back Roma fingerprinting plan

[JURIST] Italy will rework plans to fingerprint the country's Roma minority [JURIST news archive], altering requirements to only include those who do not have valid identification cards, the country's Interior Ministry announced Tuesday. The decision is seen as a concession to intense criticism [JURIST report] of the fingerprinting plan by the international human rights community [COE statement] and Roma advocates [ERRC materials]. Earlier this month, the Italian government began carrying out the plan [JURIST report] to record the fingerprints of thousands of Roma, including children, ostensibly to reduce street crime and begging. AP has more.

Last week, a committee of the Italian House of Deputies [official website, in Italian] approved [JURIST report] funding for a universal fingerprinting plan to begin in 2010. Italian leaders have pushed for all Italian citizens and resident foreigners to be fingerprinted for national ID cards, a move seen by some as an attempt to deflect accusations of "ethnic cataloguing" [EUobserver report] of the country's Roma population.

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