By Mick Krever, CNN
The mysterious case of a blond-haired girl picked up by police in a Greek Roma camp has brought into stark focus the plight of Roma people across Europe.
Interpol is helping Greek authorities conduct a worldwide search to find “Maria’s” biological parents; police became suspicious because she is blond and blue-eyed, while the couple who say they are her parents had darker complexions.
“It produces and reinforces prejudice which already exists in the society related to the fact that Roma are engaged in a criminal behavior; in a way, this case says Roma are stealing babies,” Dezideriu Gergely, executive director of the European Roma Rights Centre told CNN’s Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, on Wednesday.
The couple from whom Maria was taken have been charged with child abduction. They deny the charges, and insist that she was adopted.
“The problem here is that among the Roma communities we have a diversity of groups, and not all of the Roma are dark skinned,” Gergely said. “So what and how would authorities handle this situation?”
What is life like in a Roma camp?
CNN's Karl Penhaul gives Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, a tour of Farsala, Greece.