Historic Court Ruling: Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination

Swedish State is guilty of ethnic discrimination according to ruling in Stockholm District Court on 10 June 2016. Civil Rights Defenders wins the case and holds the State accountable for the police register of Swedish Roma citizens.

“The court ruling is not only a victory for the eleven individuals we acted as legal representatives for, and for the thousands of other Roma in the police’s ethnic register, it is also a victory for all Swedish people who are entitled to have their human rights protected through Swedish legislation”, said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

In September 2013, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed that the police administration in South Sweden kept a register consisting of 4700 Roma individuals or people married to Roma. Several of the registered individuals were minors and hundreds of the registered were already deceased. Many of those who had their personal data registered were not residing in South Sweden and had no connections to the criminal activities the register was created to map.

Justice and compensation

In todays historic court ruling, Stockholm District Court provides justice to the three children and eight adults who Civil Rights Defenders acted as legal representatives for in the lawsuit against the State. They win on all accounts and are entitled to 30 000 Swedish Krona in compensation for the violations against their rights. In the court ruling, the District Court refers to the European Convention on Human Rights and to the historic discrimination against Roma by the Swedish State.