Roma Family Runs Into More Trouble After Deportation From France

Mother assaulted in Kosovo, after family’s expulsion lights firestorm of French protests

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Visar Kryeziu / AP

Holding baby girl Medina, Dzemila Dibrani, mother of teenager Leonarda Dibrani who was expelled from France in a case that touched off a debate about immigration speaks to journalists after she was beaten and hospitalized in Kosovo's northern town of Mitrovica on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013.

A Roma family that was deported from France earlier this month, amid loud public protests, has run into further misfortunes in Kosovo, with the mother beaten and briefly hospitalized on Sunday.

A Roma man allegedly injured the mother, Dzemila Dibrani, in the city of Mitrovica, while questioning her about what happened to a child from a past romance of theirs, AP reports.

The assault is the latest development in a case that became a cause célèbre in France after it was revealed that police detained Dibrani’s 15-year old daughter in front of her classmates and teachers, ahead of the family’s expulsion.

On Friday, the father Reshat Dibrani told AP that he had lied about the extent of the family’s Kosovo connections in order to bolster their asylum chances. Though he was born in Kosovo, his children were born in Italy and the family had lived there for many years, he said.

France has been receiving harsh criticism both domestically and internationally for its systematic deportation of Roma.