Historic Court Ruling: Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination

The Swedish state is guilty of ethnic discrimination, the Stockholm District Court ruled today, June 10. 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 11 individuals we acted as legal representatives for, and for the thousands of other Roma in the police’s ethnic register, but it is also a victory for all Swedish people who are entitled to have their human rights protected through Swedish legislation," says Robert Hårdh, executive director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed in September 2013, that the police administration in South Sweden kept a register consisting of 4,700 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 today's historic court ruling, the Stockholm District Court provides justice to the three children and eight adults who received legal representation from Civil Rights Defenders. They won on all counts and are entitled to 30,000 Swedish krona each (about 3,200 euros) 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.