Roma Register: State guilty of ethnic discrimination

6:36 min

The Stockholm district court ruled Friday that the state was guilty of ethnic discrimination in a suit brought by eleven people who were included in the Skåne Police's so-called Roma Register database.

The litigants have already received SEK 5,000 in compensation for being included in the list. Each will now receive an extra SEK 30,000 according to the court decision.

In a statement on the court's website part of the court's reasoning was explained:

"None of those now claiming damages have been suspected of crimes, and they are all living in the Stockholm area. They all define themselves as Roma, except for one, who is married to a Roma. Many are children. There is strong reason to believe that inclusion in the register was solely based on their ethnicity. The State has not presented sufficient evidence to prove there were other reasons for the registration."

The suit was initiated by the organization Civil Rights Defenders on behalf of eight adults and three children.

"We have not received any explanation as to why these individuals are included in the register, nor have we got any reason to believe that they were registered for reasons other than their ethnic origin," says the organization in a statement on its website.

Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed in the fall of 2013 that the Skåne Police had been keeping a list of some 4,700 men, women, and children that helped them trace family ties in what are primarily Romani families. The Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection ruled that the list was illegal because it violated a rule about what information the police may keep.

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